Democrat attorneys general in 21 states asked the U.S. Supreme Court this month to hear Planned Parenthood’s challenge to President Donald Trump’s Protect Life rule.
Law & Crime reports the state attorneys general filed the petition for certiorari after two circuit courts issued conflicting rulings on matter.
The rule requires Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to completely separate their abortion businesses from their taxpayer-funded services to receive Title X family planning grants. The rule does not require doctors or nurses to withhold information. It merely prevents Planned Parenthood from promoting abortions with taxpayer funds.
The abortion chain refused to comply with the rule, and it was defunded by about $44 million; however, it also is challenging the rule in court.
Now, Democrat attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia are joining the abortion chain in asking the Supreme Court to hear the case.
In their petition, the attorneys general asked the justices to block the Protect Life rule, claiming it violates “appropriations statutes requiring that ‘all pregnancy counseling’ in the Title X program ‘shall be nondirective,’” according to the report.
They also argued that the rule may violate a section of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which bans the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from creating “unreasonable barriers” to health care and restricting “all relevant information to patients making health care decisions,” the report continues.
The basis of their argument is that an abortion – the killing of a unique, living human being in his/her mother’s womb – is health care, even though it is not.
The Trump administration is defending the rule as a reasonable restriction on taxpayer funding to abortion groups. HHS said the rule prohibits “referral for abortion as a method of family planning.”
“The final rule does not bar nondirective counseling on abortion, but eliminates the requirement that Title X providers offer abortion counseling and referral,” the department states. “It protects Title X healthcare providers so that they are not required to choose between participating in the program and violating their own consciences by providing abortion counseling and referral.”
But the Democrat attorneys general argued otherwise, claiming aborting unborn babies is health care.
“By removing so many of the vital and essential services funded by Title X, President Trump and his administration are essentially holding women’s reproductive freedoms captive,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.
James’ statement is misleading. The only “service” that Trump restricted under Title X is elective abortions – which involve killing unique, irreplaceable human beings.
Abortion supporters are turning to the U.S. Supreme Court after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued contradicting rulings about the Title X rule.
The American Medical Association, Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and other pro-abortion groups also petitioned the high court to hear the case last week.
The abortion chain sees about 1.5 million a year through Title X; however, 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 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. Planned Parenthood 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 have 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.