President Donald Trump’s administration has sought to chip away at federal funding for abortion providers like Planned Parenthood in hopes of fulfilling long-held Republican goals of defunding the organizations altogether, a rather tedious task that has been fought every step of the way in the court system.
But the Trump administration just won a major legal victory in that fight on Thursday — and that win came in arguably the most unexpected venue: the predominately liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Victory for Trump
Fox News reported that case involved an administrative rule that barred federally-funded family planning medical clinics from even discussing — much less advocating, referring, or providing — abortions in order to continue to receive federal funding under Title X.
The policy, announced in 2018, was immediately met with a lawsuit that received a nationwide injunction in a federal district court, preventing the policy from going into effect.
But the Ninth Circuit — quite surprisingly, given how often it has opposed the Trump administration — just lifted that nationwide injunction. This will allow the policy to be implemented while broader litigation on the issue continues through the judicial system.
Clearing the way
This is a huge, if perhaps temporary, win for the Trump administration and the pro-life crowd, which seeks to ensure no federal funds are used to promote or provide elective procedures that kill unborn human beings.
“We are pleased that the Ninth Circuit has cleared the way for this important executive branch action to take effect while our appeals are pending,” Kelly Laco, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said after the ruling. “The Department of Justice’s position is supported by long-standing Supreme Court precedent and we are confident we will ultimately prevail on appeal.”
Dems outraged – again
To say that Democrats and abortion advocates were upset at the ruling would be an understatement. They have vigorously opposed the new policy, which they refer to as a “gag rule.”
For its part, Planned Parenthood Action lamented in a tweet: “This is a devastating blow to the 4 million patients who obtain birth control, cancer screenings, and other essential care through Title X.”
Similarly, 2020 Democratic candidate and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand vowed to “fight back” against the ruling, tweeting: “The Trump administration’s Title X gag rule will deny access to basic reproductive health care for millions of people. I call that a violation of human rights.”
But murdering unborn babies doesn’t constitute “essential care” or “basic reproductive health” for anybody, and the federal Hyde Amendment already prohibits the use of any federal funds for unnecessary, elective abortions.
This wise policy from Trump blocks federal funds from going to any organization that takes part in even promoting the gruesome procedure known as abortion — and despite what the Dems say, that is a good thing for Americans both born and unborn.