A dozen states are suing the Biden administration to stop a new Title X regulation that would give millions of tax dollars to the billion-dollar abortion chain Planned Parenthood.
Filed in late October, the lawsuit challenges a new rule for the family planning program that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra enacted with unusual speed earlier this year, National Review reports.
Title X funds are not supposed to be used for abortions. The program provides family planning services to low-income individuals, and the law states that Title X funding may not be used “in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”
The new Biden administration rule violates this provision by allowing Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups to participate in the program without separating their Title X services from their abortion work, the states argue in their lawsuit.
“You can’t ‘follow the money’ when all the money is dumped into one pot and mixed together,” said Ohio Attorney General David Yost, who is leading the lawsuit, in a statement. “Federal law prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion — and that law means means nothing if the federal money isn’t kept separate. That, frankly, is the real reason behind the rule.”
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The new rule also requires Title X participants to refer patients for elective abortions, a mandate that the states say would violate health care providers’ conscience rights, according to the report.
In their lawsuit, they pointed to two federal laws, “the Coats-Snowe Amendment and the Weldon Amendment, both of which prohibit the federal government from discrimination against individuals or organizations based on their refusal to refer for abortion,” the report continues.
The states asked a federal judge to block enforcement of the rule as soon as possible.
Here’s more from the report:
Ohio explains that it may lose over $4 million annually in funding for its Title X program if section 1008 is ignored to allow Planned Parenthood back in the program with its abortion business commingled. If the court fails to quickly block the rule, all grant proposals, which are due on January 11, 2022, will be evaluated on unlawful criteria under the Biden-Becerra rule.
Yost and 19 other states also warned the Biden administration of their objections to the regulation before HHS implemented it in October, according to Yost’s office.
Joining Ohio in the lawsuit are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia.
Under President Barack Obama, Planned Parenthood was one of the largest recipients of Title X funding, receiving about $60 million a year. But after President Donald Trump took office and enforced the prohibition on funding abortion groups, the abortion chain chose to leave the program rather than comply. The Trump administration required Title X recipients to make their abortion businesses physically and financially separate from the program and stop referring women for abortions.
“It is nonsensical to say Planned Parenthood clinics that perform abortions on an industrial scale are somehow not a place ‘where abortion is a method of family planning,’” Rachel N. Morrison, an attorney and policy analyst at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, wrote at National Review. “In fact, their business model is so dependent upon abortion that they chose to drop out of the Title X program, even forgoing federal funds, to keep providing abortions.”
Planned Parenthood is a billion-dollar abortion chain that aborts more unborn babies than any other group in the U.S. Its latest annual report, which is publicly available online, shows more than 354,000 abortions, about 40 percent of all abortions in the U.S.
A recent Marist poll found that, by a double-digit margin, a majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion (54 percent to 39 percent).
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