Second Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks Trump’s New Rules Defunding Planned Parenthood of $60 Million

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 26, 2019   |   9:14AM   |   Washington, DC

A second federal judge appointed by pro-abortion President Barack Obama has blocked the new rules President Donald Trump put in place to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business of as much as $60 million.

As LifeNews reported, a federal judge appointed by pro-abortion President Barack Obama issued a ruling Wednesday keeping taxpayer funding flowing to Planned Parenthood by blocking a new pro-life rule from the Trump administration.

U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Bastian, an Obama appointee, issued an injunction staying the changes from taking effect while several other legal challenges proceed. His temporary block applies nationwide. Pro-abortion attorneys general in 20 states and Washington, D.C. filed the lawsuit, arguing that the rule would hurt Planned Parenthood and other abortion companies and violate the Affordable Care Act.

Now a second Obama judge has weighed in against the rules, which the Supreme Court upheld during the Reagan administration:

Judge Stanley Bastian of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, granted a preliminary injunction Thursday, allowing Planned Parenthood to continue to receive millions of dollars in taxpayer funding under the Title X family planning grant program.

The Trump administration’s rule, set to go into effect on May 3, reinstated President Ronald Reagan’s “Protect Life Rule,” which bars the “co-location” of federally funded family planning clinics and abortion clinics.

“Today’s ruling ensures that clinics across the nation can remain open and continue to provide quality, unbiased healthcare to women,” said Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson in a statement announcing the decision.

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In his announcement of the ruling, the attorney general quoted the judge’s statement: “There is no public interest in perpetuating unlawful agency action.”

Title X funds help low-income women and men receive birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing 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 by about $60 million a year.

The new “Protect Life” rule prohibits Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses from receiving Title X tax dollars unless they completely separate their abortion practices from their taxpayer-funded services. That mean housing their family planning services in separate buildings with separate staff from their abortion businesses. Planned Parenthood already has said it will not comply.

Several Planned Parenthood affiliates and other pro-abortion state politicians also are challenging the rule in a series of lawsuits.

What success the lawsuits ultimately will have remains uncertain. In 1991, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a similar rule from President Ronald Reagan’s administration in Rust v. Sullivan. However, because of the lengthy legal challenge, the rule never went into effect; pro-abortion President Bill Clinton eliminated the rule when he took office soon after the Supreme Court decision.

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).

In late March, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its first Title X grant awards under the new policy, and Planned Parenthood received about $44 million less than it had in previous years.

Meanwhile, the pro-life Obria Group will receive $1.7 million a year in Title X grants to provide comprehensive family planning services to low-income individuals in California. Its services include pregnancy testing and counseling, prenatal care, HIV/AIDS testing, ultrasounds, cancer testing, well-woman care, pap smears, STD testing and treatment, adoption referral and post-abortion support, according to Townhall.