Judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday that a pro-life Trump administration rule blocking abortion providers from getting federal Title X dollars can go into effect for now.
A panel of three Republican-appointed judges found that there was no reason to continue lower courts’ injunctions against the proposed pro-life rule, since the Supreme Court already held up similar policies as constitutional almost 30 years ago.
“Absent a stay, HHS will be forced to allow taxpayer dollars to be spent in a manner that it has concluded violates the law, as well as the Government’s important policy interest in ensuring that taxpayer dollars do not go to fund or subsidize abortions,” the three judges wrote in a unanimous opinion.
The 2019 Title X revision, which was put forward back in February, “prohibits the use of Title X funds to perform, promote, refer for, or support abortion as a method of family planning” and also bars funding recipients from performing abortions or referring clients for abortions at the same physical facility that gets the taxpayer money.
The Ninth Circuit judge panel found this rule to be a “reasonable interpretation” of Title X, which was originally passed in 1970 and barred funds from going to “programs where abortion is a method of family planning,” per section 1008.
“We are pleased that the Ninth Circuit has cleared the way for this important executive branch action to take effect while our appeals are pending,” Department of Justice spokeswoman Kelly Laco said in a statement to Blaze Media. “The Department of Justice’s position is supported by long-standing Supreme Court precedent and we are confident we will ultimately prevail on appeal.”
“This ruling is a victory for President Trump and the majority of Americans who do not want to fund the abortion industry with their tax dollars,” pro-life SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a Thursday statement. “The Protect Life Rule simply draws a bright line between abortion and family planning, stopping abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood from treating Title X as their private slush fund without reducing funding by a dime. … We are encouraged by this news and confident the Trump administration will prevail.”
Abortion proponents, however, were steamed at the ruling.
“This decision is wrong,” tweeted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “It will hurt low-income & women of color most of all, making it much harder to find care.”
“The Trump administration’s Title X gag rule will deny access to basic reproductive health care for millions of people,” said 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. “I call that a violation of human rights.”
“The Trump-Pence administration’s gag rule is unethical, illegal, and harmful to public health—and Planned Parenthood will not stand for this attack on millions of people across the country,” said Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen. “We will immediately seek emergency relief from the Court of Appeals.”