A US appeals court has upheld Trump administration rules that prevent taxpayer money from being used for abortions.
The rules forbid clinics that receive federal funds through the Title X program from making abortion referrals and from sharing space with abortion providers. In other words, the Title X money is only supposed to used for health care needs, not to promote abortion.
In a 7-4 ruling, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed arguments that the rule forces doctors to violate medical morals by withholding information from patients, Court News reports.
Title X funds are designed to help pay for family planning, cancer screenings, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and other services, particularly for low-income patients. The "Protect Life" rule forbids grant recipients from using the funds to "perform, promote, refer to, or support abortion as a method of family planning."
Planned Parenthood – America's top abortion provider – announced last summer that it was pulling out of the federal family planning program rather than abide by the Trump administration rule the keeps participants from referring patients for abortions. At the time, critics said it was proof that Planned Parenthood is more concerned with performing abortions than providing actual health care for women.
US Department of Justice spokesperson Mollie Timmons said the agency was "pleased" by the new ruling.
"Congress has long prohibited the use of Title X funds in programs where abortion is a method of family planning and HHS's recent rule makes that longstanding prohibition a reality. We look forward to continuing to defend this vital rule against all challenges."
Pro-life advocates are commending President Donald Trump for keeping his campaign promise to defund Planned Parenthood.
Attorney Ed Whelan wrote, "Big victory for Trump administration. Big loss for Planned Parenthood. Good illustration of how President Trump's appointments are transforming the Ninth Circuit."
Ninth Circuit Allows HHS Title X Regulations to Take Effect https://t.co/SeahmPKPr7 Big victory for Trump administration. Big loss for Planned Parenthood. Good illustration of how President Trump's appointments are transforming the Ninth Circuit.
— Ed Whelan (@EdWhelanEPPC) February 24, 2020
Family Research Council tweeted, "Great #prolife news! The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled 7-4 that the #ProtectLifeRule, which separates federal #TitleX Family Planning funding from abortion facilities, can go into full effect."
Great #prolife news!
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled 7-4 that the #ProtectLifeRule, which separates federal #TitleX Family Planning funding from abortion facilities, can go into full effect. https://t.co/F1hONG1V3l
— FRC (@FRCdc) February 25, 2020
Pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List tweeted, "Today's 9th Circuit ruling on the #ProtectLife Rule is a BIG DEAL. It affirms that abortion is NOT family planning. And it respects the will of a strong majority of Americans who object to being forced to pay for abortions with their tax dollars."
Today's 9th Circuit ruling on the #ProtectLife Rule is a BIG DEAL. It affirms that abortion is NOT family planning. And it respects the will of a strong majority of Americans who object to being forced to pay for abortions with their tax dollars.
— Susan B. Anthony List (@SBAList) February 24, 2020
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, also said in a written statement that "abortion is not 'family planning'."
"President Trump's Protect Life Rule honors...the plain language of the Title X statute by stopping the funneling of Title X taxpayer dollars to the abortion industry, without reducing family planning funding by a dime," Dannenfelser said.
TO HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD ON ABORTION GO HERE TO PROTECT THE UNBORN.
Also, the 9th Circuit of Appeals in San Francisco overturned lower court rulings in Washington, Oregon, and California which had struck down the pro-life rules.
Long known for its liberal rulings, the 9th Circuit has been shifting under Trump administration appointees.
The president has named 10 judges to the 9th Circuit...more than one-third of its active judges.