Court Rules President Trump Can Defund Planned Parenthood, Will Cut $60 Million in Taxpayer Funding

August 18, 2019
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A federal court has once again ruled the Trump administration can partially defund planned Parenthood while the abortion business’ lawsuit against his administration’s new rules moves forward.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Friday rejected a request from more than 20 states, Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Association to block new pro-life rules that Planned Parenthood is refusing to follow, which result in a loss of as much as $60 million of its taxpayer funding.

As LifeNews reported in March, the Trump administration finalized an administrative rule that would partially defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business and deprive it of as much as $60 million in taxpayer dollars. This action adds to President Trump’s record of defunding the Planned Parenthood abortion company.

The abortion chain receives about $50 million to $60 million in Title X funds annually, but that could change now that the new rules are being implemented. The administration’s changes to Title X family planning grants have angered the abortion chain Planned Parenthood, prompting a lawsuit, but they provide hope for life-affirming pregnancy centers, which can now compete with the abortion giant for the federal funds.

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.

In June, 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.

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That set up implementation of the new rule — which the administration has now indicated will be put in place Monday the 19th.

But Planned Parenthood made one last-ditch effort to get the 9th Circuit to stop the pro-life rules, which is declined to do on Friday. A three-judge panel and an 11-judge panel have already said the rules can take effect while the administration appeals lower court rulings that blocked them. Oral arguments are next month.

The abortion giant petitioned for a stay against the Trump administration’s new pro-life rules in a letter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Its CEO falsely claimed defunding means women won’t get legitimate medical care, but defunding merely means Planned Parenthood won’t get federal funds because it won’t stop abortions.

Planned Parenthood was threatening to formally withdraw from Title X funding by August 19 unless a federal court intervenes. Without the intervention, defunding can proceed. Since Planned Parenthood has indicated it will refuse to follow the new rules — putting abortion ahead of women’s health care — it will lose the entirety of its funding. There are 4,000 Title X service sites across the nation, with Planned Parenthood representing fewer than 400 and other centers would be eligible for its funding.

Last May, the Trump administration published a new proposal for Title X that would prohibit Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses from receiving any of those tax dollars unless they completely separate their abortion businesses from their taxpayer-funded services. That mean housing their family planning services in separate buildings with separate staff from their abortion businesses and a denial of funds if they fail to do so. Most Planned Parenthood entities are not expected to comply.

“We thank President Trump for taking decisive action to disentangle taxpayers from the big abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.

She told LifeNews: “The Protect Life Rule does not cut family planning funding by a single dime, and instead directs tax dollars to entities that provide healthcare to women but do not perform abortions. The Title X program was not intended to be a slush fund for abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which violently ends the lives of more than 332,000 unborn babies a year and receives almost $60 million a year in Title X taxpayer dollars. We thank President Trump and Secretary Azar for ensuring that the Title X program is truly about funding family planning, not abortion.”

National Right to Life president Carol Tobias also praised President Trump and noted that the decision doesn’t adversely affect women’s health because the federal funds will go to legitimate family planning efforts instead of places that kill babies in abortions.

“We thank President Trump and Health & Human Services Secretary Azar for their numerous actions to restore pro-life policies,” she told LifeNews. “We are encouraged to see the announcement of Title X regulations that are back in line with previous policy that prevents federal dollars from being used to directly or indirectly promote abortion domestically.”

According to National Right to Life, during the Reagan Administration, regulations were issued, with National Right to Life’s strong support, to restore the original character of Title X by prohibiting referral for abortion except in life endangering circumstances. Additionally, abortion facilities could not generally share the same location with a Title X site.

In the 1991 Rust v. Sullivan decision, the U.S. Supreme Court found similar regulations permissible.

However, the Clinton Administration would later reverse these regulations.

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

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Author: Steven Ertelt

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