CNA Staff, Nov 10, 2020 / 00:39 am
The U.S. Supreme Court should hear appeals backing HHS rules that block recipients of Title X family planning funds from performing or making referrals for abortions, a group of pro-life obstetricians and gynecologists and a Christian medical association have said.
The Supreme Court is considering whether to hear appeals seeking to overturn an appellate court’s ruling against the Protect Life Rule, created by the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services. The rule prohibits recipients of Title X family planning funds from referring for or performing abortions. It requires Title X fund recipients to be both physically and financially separate from facilities that perform abortions.
“The Supreme Court has already recognized that the federal government has authority to prevent Title X funds from being used for abortion. The 4th Circuit chose instead to rely on the preferences of pro-abortion medical associations,” John Bursch, Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy, said Nov. 9. “The Supreme Court should take this case and affirm that HHS has the authority to issue a rule that the high court already deemed constitutional.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom legal group filed the Nov. 9 amicus brief on behalf of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, which claims 4,000 OB-GYN members and associates, and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, which claims 20,000 members and 329 chapters in the United States.
The case, Azar v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, went before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Sept. 3 decision split 8-6, with the majority opposing the rule. The majority decision said the Department of Health and Human Services “failed to recognize and address the ethical concerns of literally every major medical organization in the country” and “arbitrarily estimated the cost” of implementing a section of the rules.
The amicus brief, however, argued that the final HHS rule essentially revives regulations previously approved by the Supreme Court in its 1991 case Rust v. Sullivan, which barred abortion counseling as a method of family planning in federally-funded facilities.
The brief further argued that the Fourth Circuit wrongly assumed that these prominent medical associations “promote objective truths, rather than abortion advocacy.”
One such organization, the American Medical Association, has a litigation center that promotes abortion. It has advocated unencumbered access to abortion.