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19 state AGs ask Supreme Court to keep Title X from funding abortion

Supreme Court

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced that along with 18 other states, he has filed a joint motion to the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to uphold the Trump administration rule that prevented Title X family planning dollars from funding abortion businesses and centers that refer for abortion.

In January, President Joe Biden signed a presidential memorandum aiming to reverse that 2018 Trump administration rule known as the “Protect Life Rule.” In signing the memorandum, Biden is urging the Department of Health and Human Services to rescind the Trump Administration rule, which required abortion businesses participating in Title X funding to fiscally and physically separate their family planning/birth control services from their abortion-related business.

“Using Title X dollars to fund or promote abortion is against the law,” said AG Yost. “And I’m intervening to stop it, no matter what the president’s personal agenda may be.”

After the Protect Life Rule went into effect, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the federal government, arguing that the rule would “radically alter and decimate the family-planning-assistance program established by Title X … with severe and irreparable public health consequences across the U.S.” Ultimately, Planned Parenthood gave up its Title X funding rather than separate its abortion business from its birth control business. That freed up $33 million to go to recipients that did comply with the rule.

READ: Biden reverses Trump’s Title X rule, restores funding to Planned Parenthood

However, the Planned Parenthood lawsuit and a separate lawsuit headed by California Attorney General (now secretary of HHS nominee) Xavier Becerra, led to a circuit court split. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Protect Life Rule in February 2020 but the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the rule in September 2021. Now the Supreme Court has agreed to sort it out.

The states that have signed on to the joint motion with Ohio to save the Protect Life Rule include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

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