The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last year finalized a rule to block Title X family planning funding to facilities that perform abortions. Facilities that receive these funds must maintain separate finances and physical locations from clinics that terminate life in the womb. Recipients may not provide abortion counseling or referrals.
Abortion advocates who also believe U.S. taxpayers should fund abortions challenged the rule. In a move that stunned people on the left and right, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the rule last summer. Opponents continued to challenge the rule. On Monday, the Ninth Circuit again upheld (PDF) it.
The court contended that HHS’s final rule “is a reasonable interpretation of § 1008, it does not conflict with the 1996 appropriations rider or other aspects of Title X, and its implementation of the limits on what Title X funds can support does not implicate the restrictions found in § 1554 of the ACA [Obamacare]. Moreover, the Final Rule is not arbitrary and capricious because HHS properly examined the relevant considerations and gave reasonable explanations.”
A lawyer for Alliance Defending Freedom said the Ninth Circuit’s decision “was on firm ground to allow HHS to follow the law and ensure that no Title X money reaches the coffers of Planned Parenthood or any other organizations that are in the abortion business.”