Victory: 9th Circuit Upholds President Trump’s Protect Life Rule

February 24, 2020
CONTACT: Mallory Quigley
[email protected]

Pro-life Rule Honors the Will of Americans by Stopping Taxpayer-funded Abortion in Title X

Washington, D.C. – Today an 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals upheld, in a 7-4 ruling, President Trump’s Protect Life Rule, declaring that plaintiffs challenging the Rule “will not prevail on the merits of their legal claims” and vacating preliminary injunction rulings issued by three district courts.

The majority opinion written by Judge Sandra Ikuta also states that “There is no ‘gag’ on [nondirective] abortion counseling.”

The national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) issued the following statement in response to the news:

 “Today’s ruling is a vindication of President Trump’s pro-life policies and a victory for the American people,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Abortion is not ‘family planning’ and a strong majority of Americans – including 42 percent of Independents and more than one third of Democrats – oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. President Trump’s Protect Life Rule honors their will and the plain language of the Title X statute by stopping the funneling of Title X taxpayer dollars to the abortion industry, without reducing family planning funding by a dime. We thank President Trump and HHS Secretary Azar for their strong pro-life leadership and look forward to the end of further frivolous litigation by the abortion lobby.”

Finalized in 2019, the Protect Life Rule advances President Trump’s promise to stop taxpayer funding of abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood.

Under the Protect Life Rule abortion centers cannot serve as taxpayer-funded family planning centers (“co-location”). In addition, Title X locations cannot refer for abortion. The Protect Life Rule does not prohibit Title X providers from providing neutral, nondirective counseling about abortion and does not prevent anyone from obtaining Title X services. It does not reduce family planning funding by a dime. Instead, it directs tax dollars to Title X centers that do not promote or perform abortions, such as the growing number of community and rural health centers that far outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities. Similar regulations were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1991 in Rust v. Sullivan (500 U.S. 173).

Represented by the Thomas More Society, SBA List has filed 10 amicus briefs in support of the Protect Life Rule and the federal government in multiple cases being litigated throughout the country.

In August, Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion business – announced it would drop out of the Title X program and forego nearly $60 million in taxpayer funding rather than comply with the rule.

A Marist poll in January of this year found that 60 percent of all Americans – including 42 percent of Independents and 35 percent of Democrats – oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.

SBA List is a network of more than 837,000 pro-life Americans nationwide, dedicated to ending abortion by electing national leaders and advocating for laws that save lives, with a special calling to promote pro-life women leaders.



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