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Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case on HHS Rule Barring Federal Funds for Abortions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit twice upheld the Trump administration’s final rule to block Title X family planning funding to facilities that perform abortions. These facilities must maintain separate finances and physical locations from clinics that perform abortions. They may not provide abortion counseling or referrals.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit blocked the rule.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the 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.”

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear arguments in the case. Legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed an amicus brief to the court. An excerpt of an article on the site (emphasis added):

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit blocked the HHS regulations in Maryland while a 9th Circuit decision in a separate case upheld them. The rulings create a split between the circuits that only the Supreme Court can resolve.

In November of last year, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing two pro-life medical associations filed a friend-of-the-court brief encouraging the Supreme Court to take the case. The brief explained that the HHS final rule essentially revives one that the high court already found constitutional in a previous case and should therefore be upheld.

“The Supreme Court should affirm that HHS has the authority to issue a rule that the high court already deemed constitutional,” ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch said. “There is no role for the courts to impose their own policy preferences in place of duly enacted laws and proper regulations,” Bursch said.”

Featured photo credit: Dave Bledsoe (Creative Commons) – Some rights reserved

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  1. Sharing this on my blog.

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