Washington D.C., Mar 15, 2021 / 11:00 am
The Biden administration is asking the Supreme Court to throw out a challenge to restrictions on federal funding of pro-abortion groups, signaling it intends to roll back the restrictions.
In 2019, the Trump administration issued the Title X Protect Life Rule, clarifying that recipients of Title X family planning grants could not refer for abortions and could not be co-located with abortion facilities. Rather than comply with the rule, Planned Parenthood announced its withdrawal from the program later that year, forfeiting an estimated $60 million in annual Title X funding.
The Baltimore mayor and city council, as well as a number of states and pro-abortion groups, challenged the rule in court. While the Fourth Circuit court in September ruled 8-6 against the rule, the Ninth Circuit court upheld the rule in Feb., 2020, in a separate challenge.
In February, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case which is currently scheduled to be argued in the fall of 2021.
The Biden administration and other groups that challenged the rule in court are now asking the court to throw the case out as they are now in agreement, SCOTUSBlog reported on Saturday.
In his Jan. 28 executive order, President Biden instructed the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to review the rule, the first administrative step toward reversing it. In that same order, Biden also allowed for U.S. global health assistance to go to international pro-abortion groups.
Meanwhile, pro-life groups represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) are seeking to intervene at the Supreme Court in defense of the rule. Currently, the court case is between the Biden HHS and a collection of pro-abortion groups and state and local governments that challenged the Trump HHS rule.
The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, and the Catholic Medical Association filed a motion last week to intervene in the case, saying that they would be directly affected by a rule change.