Federal Court Gives Trump Go-Ahead to Defund Planned Parenthood

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In March, the Trump administration took one of its strongest swings against the abortion industry with a new rule delineating how Title X family planning funds should be distributed. The new regulations would require clinics such as Planned Parenthood to completely separate their traditional healthcare facilities from their abortion-focused clinics, both financially and physically, if they want to continue having access to taxpayer money.

Planned Parenthood immediately filed suit, knowing that the costs of such a separation would be prohibitive (even though abortion only accounts for “3 percent” of their total operations – insert skeptical laugh here).

District courts in California and elsewhere placed injunctions against the new rule to allow the abortion industry time to develop their lawsuits against the administration, but this week, President Trump and the Department of Health and Human Services got some good news.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the Trump administration may move forward with the new Title X policies, judging that they would likely succeed in a lawsuit against the abortion industry.

“Absent a stay, HHS will be forced to allow taxpayer dollars to be spent in a manner that it has concluded violates the law, as well as the Government’s important policy interest in ensuring that taxpayer dollars do not go to fund or subsidize abortions,” the judges ruled.

With the Trump administration cleared to go forward, Planned Parenthood can expect to lose as much as $60 million in taxpayer funds each year. This, of course, is exactly why the abortion industry is fighting this rule change tooth-and-nail. They have been skirting the edges of the Hyde amendment since the Clinton administration by taking advantage of their non-existent “separation” of abortion and non-abortion practices. The truth is that, without abortion, Planned Parenthood has very little reason to exist in its current form. That’s why they take seriously any threat to their bread and butter.

On the other hand, pro-life groups have praised President Trump vociferously for working to implement rules that will restrict the federal funding Planned Parenthood receives.

“We thank President Trump for taking decisive action to disentangle taxpayers from the big abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “The Protect Life Rule does not cut family planning funding by a single dime, and instead directs tax dollars to entities that provide healthcare to women but do not perform abortions. The Title X program was not intended to be a slush fund for abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which violently ends the lives of more than 332,000 unborn babies a year and receives almost $60 million a year in Title X taxpayer dollars.”

It certainly wasn’t. Now, thanks to the courage of this administration (and a rare sane ruling from the 9th Circuit), it will not be.