One of the first goals of the pro-abortion Biden Administration was to reopen the federal “Title X” family planning spigot, allowing Planned Parenthood to again receive millions of federal dollars.
Under the Trump administration’s “Protect Life Rule” these funds could not be utilized by facilities that commit or refer for abortions.
That rule brought the family planning program back in line with the intentions behind the program’s founding: to receive money, an entity could not co-locate with abortion clinics or refer clients for abortion as a method of family planning.
But Biden changed it back “to how it ran under the Obama administration, when clinics were able to refer women seeking abortions to a provider,” according to Julie Carr Smyth, of the Associated Press. But in actuality the Biden Administration went even further to mandate that recipients counsel and refer for abortions.
NRLC strongly opposed the “proposed rule change that would eliminate the requirement that Title X funding recipients maintain a physical and financial separation of family planning from abortion activities. In addition, the rule change would illegally mandate that Title X recipients counsel and refer for abortion.”
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In other words, the rule change “would allow the creation of an accounting gimmick that enable Title X funds to support abortion services,” as NRLC President Carol Tobias explained in a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. It also violated long-standing federal laws intended to protect the right of conscience.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and 11 other attorneys general then sued last October. “Yost, in the statement, said the purpose ‘was to build walls to prevent the funding of abortion with taxpayer money – which remains illegal,’” John Caniglia for Cleveland.com reported.
“You can’t ‘follow the money’ when all the money is dumped into one pot and mixed together,” Yost said.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Black had no patience for that argument. Last month Black “denied a preliminary injunction that would have temporarily paused the rules,” Smith wrote. “The 12 states appealed his decision to the 6th Circuit, which said they failed to prove they’d be irreparably harmed by the rules going into effect.”
Yesterday the attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia received a second setback.
The federal appeals court said, for now at least, that federally funded family planning clinics can continue to make abortion referrals.
“The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati denied a request by the 12 states to pause rules for the federal government’s family planning program while their case is heard,” Smith explained. “The states were eager to stop implementation before the next round of federal grants starts rolling out in March.”
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.