Christian Leaders Commend Court Decision to Keep Trump Administration’s Title X Protect Life Rule in Effect as It Faces Legal Challenge

Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore and other pro-life leaders have commended a federal appeals court’s latest action to permit the Trump administration’s Protect Life Rule to remain in effect while it undergoes a legal challenge.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in a 7-4 decision July 11 the administration can enforce a regulation that eliminates federal family planning funds for organizations that perform or promote abortions. Meeting “en banc” or as a full court, the Ninth Circuit upheld a three-judge panel in ruling against injunctions to block the rule’s enforcement.

The final regulation, issued in February by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), bars the use of Title X money “to perform, promote, refer for, or support abortion as a method of family planning.” The rule requires “clear financial and physical separation” between Title X programs and non-Title X programs in which abortion is promoted as a method of family planning.

The Protect Life Rule, as it has been labeled, cuts about 10 percent of the government money that goes annually to Planned Parenthood, the country’s No. 1 abortion provider. Planned Parenthood reportedly receives $50 to $60 million yearly through Title X. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its affiliates collected $563.8 million in government grants and reimbursements and performed more than 332,757 abortions in the most recent year for which statistics are available.

Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), described the Ninth Circuit decision as “[g]ood news” in a July 12 tweet.

“Not even a penny of taxpayer dollars should support such an industry that devalues human life and exploits families,” he said on Twitter.

When the rule was issued, Moore called it “a responsible step toward our goal of totally separating taxpayer funds from Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. We know this profit-driven industry, which devalues human life and exploits families, will do everything in its power to maneuver around this rule as they seek to use taxpayer dollars for abortion.”

Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, said the rule “draws a bright line between family planning and abortion. Abortion is not family planning.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said the rule stops “abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood from treating Title X as their private slush fund.”

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Source: Baptist Press