Four Pro-Life Medical Groups Urge Court to Block Biden Admin’s Abortion-Referral Mandate Against Tennessee

The state of Tennessee filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over a rule that requires recipients of Title X taxpayers’ money to counsel women on abortions and refer women for abortions.

HHS cut off Tennessee’s Title X funding after the state chose to limit circumstances “in which abortion counseling and referrals are required to those that remain legal under state law.”

On behalf of four pro-life groups, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a “friend of court” brief in the case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

ADF said Tennessee is likely to prevail because the Biden administration’s rule violates federal conscience protections, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The parties contend (PDF) that ”forcing a physician to participate by referral in the ending of a human life forces the physician to violate the Hippocratic Oath, which explicitly states that the doctor will not deliberately end a human life by abortion or euthanasia and will never ‘make a suggestion to this effect.'”

What government interest, compelling or otherwise, does HHS have to require abortion referrals under Title X, and are these referrals the least restrictive means of advancing any government interest?

The government has no affirmative duty to commit resources to abortion referrals, the pro-life group contends, citing a U.S. Supreme Court decision. And these groups said there are “many other ways the government could provide information about abortion providers without forcing all Title X grantees to provide abortion counseling and referrals.”

The pro-life group asked the Sixth Circuit to block enforcement of the Biden administration’s abortion-referral mandate.

Chris Schandevel, senior counsel at ADF, urged the court to restore Title X funding to Tennessee. The Biden administration stripped the state of all of its Title X funding because the state decided not to require referrals for abortions that are illegal in Tennessee.”

Photo credit: Elvert Barnes (Creative Commons) – Some rights reserved

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One comment

  1. This blatant hellish bent is both egregious and heinous towards one’s Constitutional Rights.
    WHO VOTES DEMONCRATIC but the ignorant the Godless n the pagan.
    God hav mercy pleeeeeeease 🙏