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By Steven Ertelt, LifeNews, June 20, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC – A federal appeals court today ruled President Donald Trump can partially defund planned Parenthood while the abortion business’ lawsuit against his administration’s new rules moves forward.
As LifeNews reported in March, the Trump administration finalized an administrative rule that would partially defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business and deprive it of as much as $60 million in taxpayer dollars. This action adds to President Trump’s record of defunding the Planned Parenthood abortion company.
The abortion chain receives about $50 million to $60 million in Title X funds annually, but that could change now that the new rules are being implemented. The administration’s changes to Title X family planning grants have angered the abortion chain Planned Parenthood, prompting a lawsuit, but they provide hope for life-affirming pregnancy centers, which can now compete with the abortion giant for the federal funds.
Title X funds are supposed to be used to help low-income women and men receive birth control, cancer screenings and other health care services. While the tax money cannot be used to pay for abortions, it indirectly funds Planned Parenthood’s vast abortion business.
Today, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Trump administration’s request to lift national injunctions ordered by lower federal courts in Oregon and Washington state, as well as a statewide injunction in California. As Politico reports:
A three-judge panel said the administration will likely prevail in the legal battle over the Title X family planning program since similar Reagan-era rules were upheld by the Supreme Court almost 30 years ago.
“Absent a stay, HHS will be forced to allow taxpayer dollars to be spent in a manner that it has concluded violates the law, as well as the Government’s important policy interest in ensuring that taxpayer dollars do not go to fund or subsidize abortions,” wrote the judges, all appointees of previous Republican presidents, in a 3-0 opinion.
Last May, the Trump administration published a new proposal for Title X that would prohibit Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses from receiving any of those tax dollars unless they completely separate their abortion businesses from their taxpayer-funded services. That mean housing their family planning services in separate buildings with separate staff from their abortion businesses and a denial of funds if they fail to do so. Most Planned Parenthood entities are not expected to comply.
Under the new directive, which will take effect in 60 days, organizations receiving Title X funding have 120 days to financially separate their family planning and abortion operations and one year to physically separate their family planning and abortion operations.
The “Protect Life Rule,” as that proposal is known, was finalized today. And pro-life groups are delighted by the news.
“We thank President Trump for taking decisive action to disentangle taxpayers from the big abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
She told LifeNews: “The Protect Life Rule does not cut family planning funding by a single dime, and instead directs tax dollars to entities that provide healthcare to women but do not perform abortions. The Title X program was not intended to be a slush fund for abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which violently ends the lives of more than 332,000 unborn babies a year and receives almost $60 million a year in Title X taxpayer dollars. We thank President Trump and Secretary Azar for ensuring that the Title X program is truly about funding family planning, not abortion.”
National Right to Life president Carol Tobias also praised President Trump and noted that the decision doesn’t adversely affect women’s health because the federal funds will go to legitimate family planning efforts instead of places that kill babies in abortions.
“We thank President Trump and Health & Human Services Secretary Azar for their numerous actions to restore pro-life policies,” she told LifeNews. “We are encouraged to see the announcement of Title X regulations that are back in line with previous policy that prevents federal dollars from being used to directly or indirectly promote abortion domestically.”
According to National Right to Life, during the Reagan Administration, regulations were issued, with National Right to Life’s strong support, to restore the original character of Title X by prohibiting referral for abortion except in life endangering circumstances. Additionally, abortion facilities could not generally share the same location with a Title X site.
In the 1991 Rust v. Sullivan decision, the U.S. Supreme Court found similar regulations permissible.
However, the Clinton Administration would later reverse these regulations.
A recent Marist poll found that, by a double-digit margin, a majority of all Americans oppose any taxpayer funding of abortion (54 percent to 39 percent).