Appeals Court Blocks President Trump’s Rule Defunding Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 5, 2019   |   10:42AM   |   Washington, DC

The full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a new Trump administration rule Wednesday that defunds Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses of federal Title X grants.

The decision reverses a three-judge panel ruling from the Ninth Circuit allowing the Trump administration to enforce the rule.

As LifeNews reported in March, the Trump administration finalized a Title X grant rule that would partially defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business of about $60 million in taxpayer dollars annually.

Title X funds 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.

However, a number of abortion groups and pro-abortion state attorneys general sued to block the rule. And on Wednesday, the full, 11-judge appeals court vacated the panel ruling, blocking its enforcement again, the AP reports.

Here’s more from the report:

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit overruled them two weeks ago. The judges called the rules “reasonable” and said they align with a federal law that prohibits taxpayer funds from going to “programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”

With that decision vacated, the injunctions issued by the lower court judges are once again in effect. It’s not clear when new court arguments will be held.

“We are profoundly grateful the preliminary injunction is back in place,” said Clare Coleman, president of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, which is involved in the cases.

She said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had not yet been enforcing the new rules, even though the three-judge panel’s ruling had given it the green light to do so.

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The Title X “Protect Life” rule would prohibit Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses from receiving any 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.

Planned Parenthood already has said it will not comply. Even though abortions are a lucrative business and Planned Parenthood posted a record revenue of $1.66 billion last year, abortion groups argue that the rule will impose a costly burden on them by forcing them to separate their abortion businesses from their actual health services.

The Trump administration hopes the rule eventually will succeed in court. In the 1991 Rust v. Sullivan decision, the U.S. Supreme Court found similar Reagan-era regulations permissible. However, the Clinton administration later reversed the 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).

The Title X rule is just one of several actions Trump has taken to end taxpayer funding of the abortion industry.