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Trump policy partially defunding Planned Parenthood can take effect while case proceeds: court

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July 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gave another procedural win to the Trump administration Thursday by reaffirming its policy that threatens to cut a tenth of Planned Parenthood’s federal tax funding may be implemented while the legal case on its merits proceeds.

In February, the administration finalized a rule that will require “clear financial and physical separation between Title X-funded projects and programs or facilities where abortion is a method of family planning,” ban “referral for abortion as a method of family planning,” eliminate a “requirement that Title X providers offer abortion counseling and referral,” and require “more complete reporting by grantees about subrecipients and more clarity about informal partnerships with referral agencies.”

The rule is projected to cut almost $60 million from the $563.8 million Planned Parenthood received during the most recent fiscal year, and redirect it to women’s health providers that aren’t involved in abortions. This has provoked intense anger among abortion supporters and lawsuits from 21 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Association (AMA).

In April, U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian issued a nationwide injunction against the rule, claiming it lacked “proper consideration of sound medical opinions and the economic and non-economic consequences” and likely “creates unreasonable barriers for patients to obtain appropriate medical care.” Last month a 9th Circuit panel reversed the injunction by a 7-4 vote, and yesterday the full court reaffirmed that decision, CNN reports.

“The order granting reconsideration en banc did not vacate the stay order itself, so it remains in effect,” the court wrote. “The en banc court will proceed expeditiously to rehear and reconsider the merits of the Appellants' motions for stay of the district courts' preliminary injunction orders pending consideration of the appeals on the merits.”

Planned Parenthood CEO Leana Wen responded that the “devastating news” left the abortion giant “incredibly concerned the panel did not recognize the harm of the Trump-Pence administration's gag rule.”

“We are greatly encouraged to see the 9th Circuit rule in favor of allowing President Trump’s Protect Life Rule to take effect while it continues to be litigated,” Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. “A strong majority of Americans have consistently voiced their opposition to taxpayer funding of abortion – it is even unpopular among Democrats and self-described pro-choice Americans. Without reducing Title X funding by a dime, the Protect Life Rule simply draws a bright line between abortion and family planning, stopping abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood from treating Title X as their private slush fund.”

While the abortion lobby’s supporters insist that defunding Planned Parenthood also impacts the abortion giant’s non-abortion health services (which have been declining relative to abortions), pro-lifers argue that redirecting the money to other providers will more than make up for it. As of 2015, Federally-Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics outnumbered Planned Parenthood locations by a factor of twenty.

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