American Medical Association petitions Supreme Court to strike down Protect Life Rule

Supreme Court

UPDATE 3/16/21: The Biden Administration has requested the Supreme Court to dismiss the lawsuits involving the Trump Administration’s Title X Protect Life Rule which blocked federal dollars from funding health clinics that commit abortions or refer for abortions through the nation’s family planning program. The Fourth U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge’s decision to block the rule from going into effect, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had upheld the rule. The Supreme Court would have had to determine which appeals court was correct, however, now that Joe Biden is president and has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to review and possibly reverse the Protect Life Rule, the lawsuits are no longer considered necessary by his Administration.

10/2/20: The American Medical Association, an advocate for legal abortion, has petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States to strike down the Trump Administration’s Protect Life Rule, which requires Title X grant recipients to separate abortion-related business (including abortion referral) from their legitimate health care services.

After the rule went into effect, some pro-abortion states filed lawsuits against it. In February 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Protect Life Rule and in doing so dissolved three injunctions against the rule by federal judges in Oregon, Washington state, and California. A federal judge also blocked the rule in Maryland, and in April, the Fourth U.S. Court of Appeals upheld that decision. Currently, the rule is now in effect in every state except Maryland.

The AMA is now asking the Supreme Court to review the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and is joined in that request by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, Essential Access Health, and the Oregon Medical Association. They claim the rule “imposes burdensome physical-separation requirements on any Title X provider engaging in abortion-related activities outside the Title X program.”

READ: Planned Parenthood’s refusal of Title X funds reveals pipeline between birth control and abortion

The pro-abortion groups are petitioning the Supreme Court to determine whether the Protect Life Rule is “arbitrary and capricious,” whether the rule “violates the Title X appropriations act, which requires that ‘all pregnancy counseling’ under Title X ‘shall be nondirective,’ and whether the rule ‘harms patient care in any one of six ways, including ‘interfer[ing] with communications’ between a patient and her provider.”

As a result of the Protect Life Rule, Planned Parenthood withdrew itself from the Title X program, freeing up $33 million in funding to go to other non-abortion organizations serving low-income Americans.

The Hyde Amendment currently prevents federal tax dollars from being spent directly on abortion (with some exceptions) through the Medicaid program. However, sending any taxpayer dollars to abortion businesses through programs such as Title X to be used on legitimate health care services frees up money within those businesses to spend on abortion-related expenses and payroll.

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