A three-judge panel of the famously left-leaning 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the Trump administration’s request to lift injunctions on the Protect Life Rule, which directs Title X government funding to family health centers that don’t do abortions.
The rule prevents federal subsidies from going to clinics that provide abortion or refer for abortion. A big loser is Planned Parenthood clinics, unless they establish facilities separate from their abortion sites.
The judges granted the Trump administration’s request to lift state and nationwide blocks on the agency rule, which immediately became the target of lawsuits after it was finalized this year.
The judges, all appointed by previous Republican presidents, concluded the administration likely will win its case when it comes to trial.
“This ruling is a victory for President Trump and the majority of Americans who do not want to fund the abortion industry with their tax dollars,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
“A strong majority of Americans have consistently voiced their opposition to taxpayer funding of abortion – it is even unpopular among Democrats and self-described pro-choice Americans.”
She said: “The Protect Life Rule simply draws a bright line between abortion and family planning, stopping abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood from treating Title X as their private slush fund without reducing funding by a dime. Similar regulations were upheld by the Supreme Court nearly three decades ago. We are encouraged by this news and confident the Trump administration will prevail.”
The ruling comes even as pro-abortion House Democrats are promoting a bill to protect tax funding for their abortion industry supporters.
A Marist poll in January found that, by double-digits, a majority of Americans oppose any taxpayer funding of abortion.
The SBA List said that under the Protect Life Rule, abortion centers cannot serve as taxpayer-funded family planning centers.
“In addition, Title X locations cannot refer for abortion. The Protect Life Rule does not prohibit Title X providers from providing neutral, nondirective counseling about abortion and does not prevent anyone from obtaining Title X services. It does not reduce family planning funding by a dime. Instead, it directs tax dollars to Title X centers that do not promote or perform abortions, such as the growing number of community and rural health centers that far outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities.”
Politico reported pro-abortion federal judges in Oregon and Washington state issued nationwide injunctions against the rule, and a judge in California imposed a statewide injunction.
The 9th Circuit judges explained the administration is expected to win its battle over the funding, since the Supreme Court held up similar Reagan-era rules 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,” the court ruling said.
The decision means federal Title X funding will be withheld from any clinic that provides abortions or abortion referrals.
Abortion industry activists and politicians vowed to continue fighting.
“We are prepared to take every necessary action to protect our family planning program and women’s access to healthcare in Washington state,” said a statement from the office of Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee.