Pro-Life Groups Tell Supreme Court to Uphold Trump Rule Cutting Planned Parenthood Funding

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 18, 2021   |   7:37AM   |   Washington, DC

Pro-life organizations representing tens of thousands of medical professionals urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a pro-life rule that defunded the Planned Parenthood abortion chain of tens of millions of tax dollars.

On Monday, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, the Catholic Medical Association and Alliance Defending Freedom submitted a brief to the high court in the case, The Christian Post reports.

The medical groups said the pro-life rule for the Title X program reflects Americans’ consensus that tax dollars should not be used to fund the killing of unborn babies in abortions.

“Since its 1970 enactment, the law has funded non-abortion family planning,” they argued in the brief. “All the while, it has banned the use of Title X funds ‘in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.’”

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The rule prohibits Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses from receiving Title X tax dollars unless they completely separate their abortion businesses from their taxpayer-funded services. President Donald Trump issued it in 2018.

The Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case involving challenges to the rule; but, last week, President Joe Biden’s administration asked the court to drop the case because it does not want to defend the rule.

The medical groups said the high court should not drop the case as Biden requested; instead, it should allow states to intervene and defend the rule.

“To be sure, some States provide such funding. And many advocates would like to see more public funding. But the broader national consensus against funding elective abortion remains,” their brief states.

“When the federal government issues valid administrative rules, the public interest supports enforcing those rules until they are changed through proper regulatory procedures. Abandonment of valid statutes and regulations signals the demise of the rule of law itself,” it continues.

Expecting the Biden administration’s plans to abandon the case, 19 pro-life state attorneys general filed a motion earlier this month requesting that they be allowed to argue in favor of the rule.

Biden’s acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued that the Supreme Court should reject the states’ motion because they were “not parties to these cases.”

However, the pro-life state attorneys general said they do have an interest in the case and should be able to intervene on behalf of the vast majority of Americans who oppose funding the abortion industry with their tax dollars. Trump’s Title X rule “reflects this consensus,” they wrote in their motion.

“Using Title X dollars to fund or promote abortion is against the law,” said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who wrote the motion. “And I’m intervening to stop it, no matter what the president’s personal agenda may be.”

Joining Ohio in the motion are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

The Title X program provides family planning services to low-income individuals, and Planned Parenthood, which does about 40 percent of all abortions in the U.S., was a major participant in the program until recently.

Under Trump, Planned Parenthood dropped out of the program, prioritizing its abortion work over family planning services. As a result, the billion-dollar abortion chain was defunded of about $60 million.

However, Planned Parenthood and its political allies also sued to challenge the abortion funding restrictions, and two circuit courts issued different decisions about the matter. In August 2019, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the rule to go into effect. But in 2020, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s block on the rule, resulting in conflicting rulings.

Even though Biden plans to overturn the rule, a Supreme Court decision in favor of the rule could set a helpful precedent for future pro-life presidents to re-establish it.

A recent Marist poll found that, by a double-digit margin, a majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion (54 percent to 39 percent).