Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has filed a lawsuit against the Biden-Harris administration to stop the federal funding of abortions. The move comes after the White House reversed the “Protect Life Rule,” a Trump administration Title X ban on taxpayer money being used to promote or fund elective abortions.
Yost’s lawsuit aims to reinstate two measures that would require federally funded family planning clinics “to be physically and financially independent of abortion clinics and refrain from referring patients for abortions.”
“You can’t ‘follow the money’ when all the money is dumped into one pot and mixed together,” said Yost in a press release. “Federal law prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion — and that law means nothing if the federal money isn’t kept separate. That, frankly, is the real reason behind the rule.”
Biden’s regulation repealed a 2019 Title X rule that required physical and financial separation from “prohibited activities, including providing, referring, encouraging, promoting, or advocating for abortion.” Yost wants these restrictions restored, arguing that the “federal rule change allow[s] for taxpayer dollars to be used to encourage and support abortions.”
The lawsuit comes after Ohio and 20 other states sent a letter to the Biden-Harris administration in May, urging them to keep the Title X restrictions in place. In that letter, the states pointed out the necessity of Title X, saying:
Many Americans regard abortion as the murder of a child. Other Americans disagree—they consider abortion to be among the most important of rights. Federal funding has been the quintessential point of compromise between the opposing factions in this fraught and volatile area. The elements of the compromise may vary in their detail, but the overall components of compromise have remained quite consistent and clear.
Congress, on the one hand, does not seek to bar or directly restrain the right established by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and its progeny. Congress, on the other hand, seeks to respect those who hold moral or religious objections to the contested practice by withholding federal funds from it. Title X reflects this consensus.
Joining Ohio in its lawsuit are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia.
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