In a surprising move, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California is now actually upholding President Trump’s Protect Life Rule and allowing it to go into effect. The Protect Life Rule requires that facilities that receive Title X federal family planning funds cannot be housed in the same building as abortion service providers and cannot refer for abortions. This rule will eliminate at least $60 million in Title X family planning dollars from Planned Parenthood’s piggy bank. The rule was supposed to go into effect months ago, but lower courts had blocked its enforcement.
With the court removing the injunctions, the administration has moved forward in implementing the Protect Life Rule. Planned Parenthood promptly announced that they won’t agree to the new rules and will continue providing or referring for abortion services. The Department of Health and Human Services announced this week that it will give them more time to certify that they aren’t performing abortions. Planned Parenthood is still refusing to comply.
This clearly shows to their commitment to abortion – they would rather lose government funding than change their practices. The abortion industry has, for years, said that they just want to provide healthcare for needy women. The recent ouster of Leana Wen as the head of Planned Parenthood (for not maintaining a sufficient focus on abortion policy) demonstrates however their true intention is in fact abortion – not women’s healthcare.
Title X family planning funds were always intended to help low-income families with things like cancer screenings and sexually transmitted infection treatment. For many years the funds were not allowed to go to abortion providers at all – a rule the Supreme Court has already upheld.
During the Clinton Administration, this changed and the program has largely been used as a slush fund for the abortion industry ever since. The recent Ninth Circuit ruling is much more consistent with the legislative intent of Title X – as it begins to ensure that facilities receiving funds are truly helping families with health concerns. It adds another safeguard to ensure that our tax dollars are not being used to fund abortions.
This also is a sharp reversal for the 9th Circuit, affectionately known as the 9th Circus, because it has a reputation for routinely overruling state legislatures and overturning anything that does not agree with its liberal agenda. This difference is occurring largely because of several appointments to the court by President Trump. This new bent in the Court doesn’t reflect conservative or liberal politics but is rather about upholding the rule of law – what the courts were always intended to do.
We thank the Trump Administration for taking this bold step to draw a bright line between abortion and actual medical care—as well as for his ongoing commitment to appoint judges who uphold the rule of law.
We will continue to encourage the President and his administration to stand strong on this issue because all lives are precious and worthy of protection.
Brittany Jones, Esq.