Friday, June 21, 2019

9th Circuit Lifts Injunctions On Title X Abortion Counseling Ban

In State of California v. Azar, (9th Cir., June 20, 2019), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay of the injunctions that had been issued by three district courts that had prevented Trump Administration regulations on family planning grants from going into effect. As described by the court:
Under the Final Rule, Title X grantees are prohibited from providing referrals for, and from engaging in activities that otherwise encourage or promote, abortion as a method of family planning.... Providers are required to refer pregnant women to a non-abortion prenatal care provider, and may also provide women with a list of other providers (which may not be composed of more abortion providers than non-abortion providers). 
Relying on a 1991 Supreme Court decision the 9th Circuit concluded that the Final Rule is a reasonable interpretation of Title X, and that two intervening laws did not change that conclusion. CBS News, reporting on the decision, points out that the new regulations also ban clinics that receive federal funds from sharing office space with abortion providers-- a provision apparently aimed at Planned Parenthood which says it will seek reconsideration of the decision by the 9th Circuit.