President Joe Biden’s administration is trying to end a lawsuit that could result in the Planned Parenthood abortion chain being defunded of tens of millions of tax dollars.
On Friday, acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar asked the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss the case regarding President Donald Trump’s pro-life rule for Title X grants, the Christian Post reports.
Lawyers for the American Medical Association and pro-abortion state attorneys general who filed lawsuits also asked that the case be dismissed now that Biden plans to reverse the rule, according to the report.
The Supreme Court recently agreed to hear the case after two circuit courts issued opposing opinions about the pro-life rule.
The rule prohibits Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses from receiving Title X tax dollars unless they completely separate their abortion businesses from their taxpayer-funded services. That mean housing their family planning services in separate buildings with separate staff from their abortion businesses.
In January, Biden announced plans to get rid of the rule, stating, “The [law] specifies that Title X funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning, but places no further abortion-related restrictions on recipients of Title X funds.”
Anticipating the Biden administration’s plans to abandon the case, 19 pro-life state attorneys general filed a motion earlier this month requesting that they be allowed to defend the rule if the Biden administration refuses to.
In the motion Friday, Prelogar argued that the Supreme Court should reject their motion because the 19 states were “not parties to these cases.”
However, the pro-life state attorneys general said they do have an interest in the case and should be able to intervene on behalf of the vast majority of Americans who oppose funding the abortion industry with their tax dollars. Trump’s Title X rule “reflects this consensus,” they wrote in their motion.
“Using Title X dollars to fund or promote abortion is against the law,” said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. “And I’m intervening to stop it, no matter what the president’s personal agenda may be.”
Joining Ohio in the motion are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.
The Title X program provides family planning services to low-income individuals, and Planned Parenthood, which does about 40 percent of all abortions in the U.S., was a major participant in the program until recently.
Under Trump, Planned Parenthood dropped out of the program, prioritizing its abortion work over family planning services. As a result, the billion-dollar abortion chain was defunded of about $60 million.
However, Planned Parenthood and its political allies also sued to challenge the abortion funding restrictions, and two circuit courts issued different decisions about the matter. In August 2019, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the rule to go into effect. But in 2020, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s block on the rule, resulting in conflicting rulings.
Even though Biden plans to overturn the rule, a Supreme Court decision in favor of the rule could set a helpful precedent for future pro-life presidents to re-establish it.
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).