Ninth Circuit Allows Title X Rules to Take Effect

Sharolyn Smith

Salem, OR — On February 24, the Ninth Circuit Court allowed heavily-contested changes to the Title X program to take effect. The rules are intended to prevent the family-planning program from being used to fund abortion businesses.

“These changes protect the original intent of the program: family planning,” says Lois Anderson, ORTL executive director. “Abortion is not family planning. Abortion is the purposeful ending of an existing family member’s life. These rules ensure that Title X facilities do not perform or promote abortion under the guise of family planning. The Ninth Circuit Court made the right choice today.”

In her majority opinion, Judge Ikuta explained that the Title X regulations now in effect are similar to those previously upheld by the Supreme Court (Rust v. Sullivan, 1991). She stated they are in fact “less restrictive in at least one important respect: a counselor providing nondirective pregnancy counseling ‘may discuss abortion’ so long as ‘the counselor neither refers for, nor encourages, abortion.’” 

“Despite these rules being reasonable and good practice, Governor Kate Brown has charged headlong into the reckless position of removing Oregon from the Title X program,” continued Anderson. “The governor is demonstrating that she is far more concerned about pleasing her campaign supporters than responsible management of healthcare resources for Oregonians.”

Planned Parenthood, once a major Title X provider before pulling out of the program, will forfeit around $50 to $60 million of their annual government funding. Per their annual report, they received $617 million (37% of their income which amounts to more than $1 billion gross annually) in 2018-2019 fiscal year.

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