Appeals Court Permits HHS Rule Barring Abortion Facilities and Referral Sites From Federal Family Planning Funding

    Updated: June 24, 2019 at 10:36 pm EST  See Comments

    Originally Published on This Site

    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed a Health and Human Services (HHS) rule that would disqualify abortion facilities from receiving federal funds, as well as any locations that promote, support or refer for abortions, to take effect while the Trump administration appeals other court rulings that blocked the requirements.

    “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 three-judge panel wrote in a unanimous decision on Thursday.

    “As the Supreme Court held … , ‘the government may ‘make a value judgment favoring childbirth over abortion, and … implement that judgment by the allocation of public funds,’ and by ‘declining to ‘promote or encourage abortion,’” it noted.

    As previously reported, HHS announced forthcoming changes this past March that revert to the 1988 standard under the Reagan administration, which disqualified family planning organizations from receiving Title X funds if abortions are performed in the same building where contraceptives and other family planning services are offered.

    Abortion providers would either have to divide their services into two separate physical locations, or lose funding.

    “This rule will require Title X providers to maintain physical and financial separation from locations which provide abortion as a method of family planning,” a document released by HHS outlined.

    “This physical and financial separation will ensure compliance with the statutory

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