May 22, 2018 Press Release

Prebuttal: Trump’s Dangerous Announcement at Tonight’s SBA Gala

05.22.18 – According to reports, tonight President Trump is expected to announce changes to Title X that would bar health care centers that provide abortions from seeing patients who need birth control and other reproductive health care services. While the regulations aren’t public yet, early reports indicate that the Administration would try to prohibit any Title X facility from referring patients for abortions.

This announcement is only the latest change made by the Trump administration to move the Title X program away from its non-political tradition and scientific basis.

  • Earlier this year, the Trump administration announced a new “scoring” system for grant applications that deemphasizes health care providers who use proven, science-based strategies and rewards fringe providers who provide “natural family planning methods (also known as fertility awareness based methods),” promotion of abstinence and to “not normalize sexual risk behaviors.”

  • The guidelines also stripped Regional Health Administrators of their power to make final grant award decisions, which existed to ensure that need, not politics, drove the process.

  • The guidelines instead empowered the acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs, Valerie Huber, a political appointee who has spent nearly two-decades promoting abstinence-only, anti-contraception programs.

SBA List’s Flip Flop on Trump

In 2016, SBA List did everything it could to stop Donald Trump from winning the Republican nomination. In January 2016, the group put out a release that read, “we urge Republican caucus-goers and voters to support anyone but Donald Trump.”

SBA List reasoned:

“Moreover, as women, we are disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular.  He has impugned the dignity of women, most notably Megyn Kelly, he mocked and bullied Carly Fiorina, and has through the years made disparaging public comments to and about many women. Further, Mr. Trump has profited from the exploitation of women in his Atlantic City casino hotel which boasted of the first strip club casino in the country.”

SBA List soon showed its true agenda. It quickly abandoned its false concern for women and chose to embrace Trump to advance its quest to strip people of reproductive health care choices, including safe and legal abortion.  

Since determining this was a better calculation for the organization, SBA List has used the Trump administration as a puppet to exert its power over American families and implement extremely far-right policies…

  • In September 2016, Trump circulated a letter naming Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of SBA List, the head of his anti-abortion coalition and signing onto the SBA List’s wish list of anti-choice priorities.

  • According to Senate lobbying disclosures, SBA List’s lobbying expenses went through the roof in recent years. Between 2013 and 2016, it spent between $270K and $500K a year on lobbying. In 2017 that figure went up to $740K and in the first quarter of 2018 it spent $220K.

  • The Trump Administration appointed SBA List’s former interim legislative affairs director, Steven Valentine as Deputy Chief of Staff to HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, where he oversees Title X and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.

  • Valentine’s brother, Billy, is a lobbyist for SBA List, and disclosures show he’s lobbied HHS on Title X.

Considering this, it’s no surprise that Dannenfelser told POLITICO this week: “It’s the happiest wrong I’ve ever been,” and SBA List has been happy to return the favor…

SBA List is among the ranks of the numerous special interests and foreign countries that are working to put money directly into Trump’s pocket.