Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to HHS Rule Blocking Planned Parenthood

(ACLJ)

A pro-life rule that we fought for—and you did too—is under attack.

When the Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule blocking millions of our tax dollars from abortionists, Planned Parenthood stomped away from the program.

But with the new Biden administration in power, the extreme abortion lobby has been reinvigorated, and it is taking action to undo this commonsense HHS regulation.

As The Hill explains:

The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the Trump administration’s changes to a federally funded family planning program that pushed hundreds of providers to leave.

The court announced Monday it will hear a case brought by the American Medical Association (AMA), Planned Parenthood and others arguing that the Trump administration’s changes to the Title X family planning program that bans providers from referring patients for abortions violates federal law and harms patient care.

During his campaign, President Biden promised to reverse the HHS rule blocking Title X money from Planned Parenthood. Now it appears he is keeping his word to the abortion giant that supported his campaign financially. He has already taken executive action to begin the process of reversing this critical pro-life rule.

Yet Biden’s Justice Department is supposed to be the one defending this rule. Don’t hold your breath.

That is why the ACLJ is needed now more than ever.

Our legal team is already preparing to file a critical amicus brief at the Supreme Court defending the Title X rule. Title X is a federal program—funded by our tax dollars—which provides grants for lower-income medical and family planning services.

Title X grants were never supposed to be given to the abortion industry. It was literally put that way in writing. Under the express language of Title X, “[n]one of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

And yet Planned Parenthood managed to exploit loopholes to obtain Title X funds for years. In fact, historically, Planned Parenthood has accounted for as much as 41% of the services funded by Title X.

As we’ve reported, under former President Trump, HHS introduced a rule to cut taxpayer funding for abortion providers—like Planned Parenthood—who refuse to comply with the law. The rule cut approximately $60 million of Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding—a significant step in defunding the abortion giant.

The ACLJ filed public comments supporting the proposed rule. We also urged our ACLJ members to file their own comments, which you did in droves. Our members submitted over 13,000 individual comments, accounting for over 10% of all comments submitted nationwide.

The rule went into effect in 2019, and in the definitive “taking my ball and going home” move, Planned Parenthood—which has long held that abortion was only a small portion of their business—stomped away from the program altogether.

Yet, they didn’t go down without a fight. Planned Parenthood and its pro-abortion allies launched a series of lawsuits against the defunding rule. In response, the ACLJ took significant action in court. As we have previously explained:

At the ACLJ, we filed numerous amicus briefs in this case, and the 9th Circuit agreed with our arguments.

First, Planned Parenthood and its pro-abortion state posse lost before a 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit—a stunning loss in and of itself because of how reliable the 9th Circuit has been for Planned Parenthood. It then appealed that loss to an 11-judge panel of the 9th Circuit, sitting en banc. Again, it resoundingly lost. Desperate, it again asked that panel to rehear the case or for the full court (all 29 judges of the 9th Circuit) to hear the case. It lost again. Not only did it lose, but not a single judge on the entire 9th Circuit Court of Appeals even wanted to vote on hearing the case. The 9th Circuit’s order stated, “The full court has been advised of the Petitions, and no Judge has requested a vote on whether to rehear the matter as a full court. The Petitions are denied.”

It appears even the 9th Circuit is sick of Planned Parenthood’s tactics. This was an absolute and utter debacle for Planned Parenthood.

Despite the new administration seemingly empowering abortionists and their lobbyists, the ACLJ will not stand by and watch them dismantle crucial pro-life protections. Nor will we allow them to summarily force Americans to pay for abortions against their will.

But that doesn’t diminish the very real threat to the HHS rule. As we recently told you, Biden has nominated possibly the most pro-abortion director of HHS in the history of the organization—California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

Becerra served in Congress for 24 years, during which time he earned a 100% rating from abortion lobbyists such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. Among other things, he voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion, voted against making it a crime to hurt an unborn child during the commission of another crime, voted yes on allowing and expanding human embryonic stem cell research, and supported taxpayer-funded abortions.

And that is the man Biden wants to put in charge of HHS. That doesn’t bode well for an HHS rule blocking tax dollars from abortionists.

This is exactly why the critical pro-life work of the ACLJ is needed now more than ever. We are the last line of defense in court. Title X was created to fund women’s true health care services, not abortion. Planned Parenthood should not be allowed to exploit the program for a single dime.

SOURCE: ACLJ, Jordan Sekulow