Abortion advocates tried to stop a new rule issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to redirect “family planning” taxpayers’ money away from facilities that kill unborn babies to those that don’t. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit surprised people on both sides of the aisle and ruled in the government’s favor.
Abortion advocates call it a “gag rule” for providers. Facilities receiving this federal funding can’t do abortion referrals or require abortion counseling, though they may counsel. They also must maintain separate finances and facilities from affiliated abortion clinics.
Christian Headlines reported that facilities presently receiving family planning funds are under a deadline (emphasis added):
The Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that Title X recipients have until Aug. 19 to document their steps for complying with the rule. It will go into effect Sept. 18, as Christian Headlines previously reported.
Another part of the rule requires family planning clinics to physically and financially separate their abortion services from their non-abortion services. That section, though, won’t go into effect until March 4.
“If the grantee believes that it cannot meet the deadlines listed above, it must submit a request for an extension along with an explanation or documentation of the need for the extension,” HHS said.
At least one state has dropped out of the family planning funding program in defiance of the HHS. Gov. JB Pritzker said Illinois would use state money instead. “Under my administration, Illinois will always stand with women and protect their fundamental right to choose.”