A federal judge appointed by pro-abortion President Barack Obama has issued a second injunction blocking 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 Judge Michael J. McShane, an Obama appointee, issued a temporary 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.
Then, a second federal judge, 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.
Today, Judge McShane raised his temporary injunction to a preliminary injunction.
The judge signaled from the bench last week that he planned to grant the injunction sought by 20 states, including Oregon, as well as the District of Columbia, Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Association. But at the time, he said he was reluctant to set “national health care’’ policy as a federal judge based in Eugene. The government urged any injunction be limited to the plaintiffs in the case.
Today McShane said a nationwide injunction was appropriate.
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“These opinions underscore why many people have lost confidence in the courts,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Over the last two years, one judge after another has ruled against virtually anything the Trump administration has done, only to be reversed at the Supreme Court. Judges should fairly apply the law, not impose their personal views on what the law should be.”
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.
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.