This is an amazing turn of events.
President Trump won an historic victory in his drive to eliminate taxpayer support for Planned Parenthood. Since taking office, his Administration has been working to advance the protections for pro-Life Americans and preborn children at a pace never seen before in the Roe era.
Last year, the President reviewed the laws governing Title X – a program which puts the federal government in the business of helping people indulge their sexual appetites without having to worry about the natural consequence; a program Democrats like to call “family planning”. (How this came to be a federal taxpayer burden is a whole scandalous story in itself).
His review came at the urging of Senators Risch and Crapo, who wrote him a detailed letter explaining the clear intent and history of the Title X program, which was revised by Congress in the 1980’s. The clear letter of the law is that “family planning” monies should not involve abortion in any way, shape or form. Risch and Crapo argued that Congress intended that monies provided to an organization like Planned Parenthood for genuine birth control efforts needed to be rigorously separated from that entities abortion activities.
President Ronald Reagan issued rules to implement Congressional intent- and was promptly sued by Planned Parenthood. However – that case was ultimately settled by the U.S. Supreme Court in a case known as Sullivan. The court ruled that the Reagan Administration could, in fact, require that abortion providers receiving Title X must conduct the “family planning” counseling and services in a facility entirely separate from an abortion clinic. They could also require that the staffing for these two functions be completely separate.
Tragically, that rule was never actually implemented. By the time the ruling came down from the high court, Bill Clinton had become president. And he rewrote the rules governing Title X to suit Planned Parenthood. The Clinton rules have remained in place ever since – including throughout the years of the Bush Administration.
It took Donald Trump to take the fight to Planned Parenthood.
Naturally, they sued. And, naturally enough – they found various liberal judges to issue rulings in their favor, despite the previous ruling by the Supreme Court. In fact, a number of district court judges actually issued “national injunctions” against the Trump Administration rule changes from taking effect. (A clear abuse of their authority under the Constitution).
There is no doubt that President Trump is on solid legal ground in demanding that Title X funds be segregated from abortion operations. And there is no doubt that he would eventually win this fight in the courts.
What is astonishing is that he won this important round before the 9th Circuit. We cannot recall another pro-Life ruling by this circuit, even an accidental one. But this week a 3 judge panel lifted the injunctions imposed by their arrogant colleagues.
Planned Parenthood and their allies must be flabbergasted. They have owned this circuit for decades.
They have little choice but to try an appeal – perhaps to a full gathering of the 9th Circuit. After all, they stand to lose tens of millions in taxpayer subsidies each year.
In addition to the president’s defense of preborn children, we must acknowledge his sustained effort to fill judicial vacancies with individuals who have some notion of judicial restraint and respect for the clear and obvious text of the U.S. Constitution. It would seem that his efforts are beginning to bear fruit – even in the 9th Circuit.