The Trump Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services instituted a rule change on Title X family planning funding which was set to go into effect May 3rd. The rule, dubbed by the abortion industry and media friends as a “gag rule,” would have prevented Title X funding recipients from referring patients for abortions, and would have required that abortion providers physically and financially separate their abortion facilities from their facilities providing birth control services — 120 days to comply financially, and one year to comply physically. More than 20 states filed suit against the Trump administration. The decision would have affected Planned Parenthood to the tune of a potential loss of $60 million annually in federal taxpayer dollars.
Earlier this week, an Oregon judge announced his intention to partially block the Title X rule, but said he would not make a decision affecting the rule nationally. Today, however, U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima, Washington, issued a nationwide injunction against the rule. The New York Times reported:
Judge Bastian wrote that the plaintiffs in the case had “submitted substantial evidence of harm” if the administration’s rule were to take effect. “Yet,” he wrote, “the government’s response in this case is dismissive, speculative and not based on any evidence presented in the record before this court.”
According to Fox News, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson claimed that the judge’s ruling “ensures that clinics across the nation can remain open and continue to provide quality, unbiased healthcare to women.”
Ferguson also claimed “Trump’s ‘gag rule’ would have jeopardized healthcare access to women across the country,” and that “Title X clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, provide essential services – now they can keep serving women while we continue to fight to keep the federal government out of the exam room.” As previously noted by Live Action News, “Planned Parenthood’s facilities are all housed under the same roof, so to speak, which means that any funds going toward Planned Parenthood for birth control services are also serving to keep its abortion business functioning, due to fungibility.”
However, the rule would not have taken funding from the thousands of Federally Qualified Health Centers (compared to around 600 Planned Parenthood facilities) which provide family planning services (minus abortion), receive Title X funding, and serve 27 million patients annually (and growing) compared to Planned Parenthood’s 2.4 million annually (and declining). As for the contraceptive services offered by FQHCs vs. those offered by Planned Parenthood, Live Action News’ Carole Novielli previously reported:
…[B]etween 2015 and 2017, while Planned Parenthood’s contraception services dropped nearly seven percent (6.69%), FQHCs contraception services increased by nearly thirteen percent (12.66%).
In fact, in just one year, (2016 to 2017) FQHC’s services increased by 83,000 to while PP’s decreased by 80,000. See chart below.
Since 2009, contraception services at Planned Parenthood have fallen nearly 35 percent (34.63%) from a high of 4,009,549. In 10 years, contraception services dropped nearly 33 percent (32.63%) from 3,889,980 in 2007 to 2,620,867 in 2017.
But the Trump administration believes a previous Supreme Court case supports their view on the Title X rule change. Oregon Live reported this week:
Attorney Andrew M. Bernie, for the federal government, countered that there had been no showing of “irreparable harm” from the rules and nothing in the administrative record to suggest a political motivation for the changes.
The rules are supported by 14 other states and are in line with the 1991 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Rust v. Sullivan, which upheld prior U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations that prohibited employees in federally funded family-planning facilities from counseling a patient on abortion, Bernie argued.
But the judge wasn’t swayed by Bernie’s argument, particularly the Justice Department’s reliance on a nearly 30-year-old Supreme Court case.
But age of the relevant Supreme Court case seems to have no bearing on judges’ abortion rulings, which are based on Roe v. Wade, a ruling issued more than 45 years ago — far older than Rust v. Sullivan.
Unfortunately for women and preborn children, Planned Parenthood’s tendrils reach so deeply into taxpayer funding sources — and it as a corporation is so embedded in the public view as a “healthcare provider” — that abortion-friendly judges view any sort of removal of funding from the nation’s largest abortion corporation as an affront to “women’s healthcare.”
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