California Asks Judge to Block President Trump’s Pro-Life Rule Yanking Planned Parenthood Funding

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 21, 2020   |   12:39PM   |   Washington, DC

The state of California yesterday asked a federal judge to block President Donald Trump’s pro-life rule yanking Planned Parenthood taxpayer funding under the Title X family planning program. Last year, President Trump issued the rule protecting Americans from having to fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business by requiring abortion companies to separate their abortion business from their family planning efforts so taxpayers don’t have to fund abortion corporations.

The rule shut down one of the many avenues for federal taxpayer funds that Planned Parenthood has accessed over the years.

Title X grants fund family planning services for low-income individuals and, to direct tax dollars to legitimate organizations and away from the Planned Parenthood abortion company, the Trump administration finalized a new rule that prohibits recipients from providing or promoting abortions.

The “Protect Life” rule requires Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to 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 refused to comply and lost its federal funding.

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Several states have sued to stop the rule and California pushed its request yesterday to stop the rule, which doesn’t shut off any access to health care but merely diverts funding from Planned Parenthood to legitimate health care entities:

On Thursday, the state of California and a woman’s health clinic asked a federal judge to stave off the new regulations, arguing that the effect would imperil the health care of thousands of low-income women who rely on these clinics.

The rule faces multiple state challenges, including Maryland, where a federal judge blocked it from taking effect in a ruling earlier this week. Another federal judge will hear arguments in a similar lawsuit brought by Washington state next week.

In San Francisco, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen issued a preliminary injunction against the rule in April of last year, which was stayed by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The full Ninth Circuit heard arguments in September on whether to overturn that stay, and its pending decision will be moot if Chen finds the government promulgated the rule without a good explanation as to why it was necessary.

Other federal judges have also blocked the rule and the Trump administration is expected to appeal those rulings to the federal appellate court level.

The rule doesn’t require doctors or nurses to withhold information. It merely prevents Planned Parenthood from promoting abortion using taxpayer funds.

The abortion chain sees about 1.5 million a year through Title X, and its services through the program, including cancer screenings, birth control, etc., have been dropping steadily for years, according to its own annual reports. Meanwhile, its abortion numbers have been growing – a clear indication of its true focus.

Planned Parenthood receives about $60 million a year through Title X. However, the first grant announcement under the new rule showed a $44 million cut to Planned Parenthood’s funding.

Planned Parenthood is choosing not to comply with the rule by making abortion its “core mission.” The abortion chain could continue to receive Title X funds if it stops aborting unborn babies or if it completely separates its abortion business from the real health care services it provides. But Planned Parenthood made it clear that it will not.

Meanwhile, community health centers vastly outnumber Planned Parenthoods and provide far more comprehensive medical services to low-income and minority women across the country. They still have access to those funds, assuring that low-income individuals still will have a options for their medical needs.

What success the lawsuits will have remains uncertain. In 1991, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a similar rule by 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.