Yesterday, a federal appeals court ruled that President Donald Trump can partially defund Planned Parenthood while the lawsuit brought against his administration by Planned Parenthood continues to move forward.
California Family Council previously reported back in February of this year how the Trump administration had finalized a rule designed to redirect as much as $60 million taxpayer funded dollars away from the nation’s largest abortion provider.
Under the previous rule, Planned Parenthood was receiving in excess of $50 million taxpayer dollars in Title X funds. Title X is a federal grant program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services that includes roughly $286 million which it distributes to family healthcare centers. Planned Parenthood receives roughly $50-$60 million of this money. The “Protect Life Rule” filed with the Office of Management and Budget and finalized in late February of 2019 will cut Planned Parenthood and other abortion provider’s access to Title X funding unless it separates abortion from the other services that it claims to provide.
This prompted a lawsuit from Planned Parenthood, but opens up more opportunities for pro life pregnancy care centers to instead receive the $50-$60 million dollars that are expected to be redirected away from Planned Parenthood.
Title X funds are supposed to be used to help low-income women and men receive birth control, cancer screenings and other health care services. While the tax money cannot be used to pay for abortions, it indirectly funds Planned Parenthood’s vast abortion business.
Last month, a three-judge panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Trump administration’s request to lift national injunctions ordered by lower federal courts in Oregon and Washington state, as well as a statewide injunction in California. The panel said the Trump administration will likely prevail in the legal battle over the Title X family planning program since similar Reagan-era rules were upheld by the Supreme Court almost 30 years ago.
However, the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the Trump administration from going forward with defunding Planned Parenthood while the case is still being considered. However, yesterday the entire 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Trump administration’s defunding in a 7-4 decision. The judges voted along party lines with all Republican judges voting in support of the redirection of Title X funds, and the Democrat judges voting in support of Planned Parenthood.
“This is devastating news. While we are incredibly concerned the panel did not recognize the harm of the Trump-Pence administration’s gag rule, we will not stop fighting for the millions across the country in need for care,” Leana Wen said on Twitter.
If Planned Parenthood decides to appeal the ruling, the case would go before the Supreme Court, should the nation’s highest court decide to review the ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.