By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, DC – Yesterday evening, the Department of Health and Human Services released a statement announcing that compliance with the Protect Life Rule would be required immediately.

The Protect Life Rule prohibits Title X Family Planning funds from going to organizations or businesses that conduct or refer for abortions.

Earlier this year, the implementation of the Protect Life Rule was blocked by some courts.  However, on July 11, 2019, an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit stayed the injunction and has allowed the Protect Life Rule to go into effect.

The HHS statement explains:

Motions panels in the Fourth and Ninth Circuit stayed the injunctions, but plaintiffs in the Ninth Circuit cases filed motions for an administrative stay of the Ninth Circuit’s stay order.  On July 11, 2019, an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit denied those requests for an administrative stay and made clear that the order staying the injunctions remained in effect.  By denying those motions, the en banc Ninth Circuit—along with the Fourth Circuit and a federal district court in Maine that recently denied another motion for a preliminary injunction—has made clear that HHS may begin enforcing the Final Rule. Consistent with those rulings, HHS shall now require compliance with the Final Rule.  

The Protect Life Rule is expected to deny Planned Parenthood approximately $60 million in Title X funds. 

“The Trump Administration has made it a priority to protect innocent human lives from conception until natural death.  The defunding of businesses that conduct or refer for abortions is consistent with that pro-life ethic.  We are grateful to President Donald Trump for supporting the Protect Life Rule and for appointing conservative judges to the Ninth Circuit, which made last week’s ruling possible,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.  “Laws and regulations that protect innocent life are of little value if the judiciary is biased in favor of the manufactured ‘right’ to abortion that does not exist in the U.S. Constitution. President Trump has the foresight to understand that and has acted to ensure that those protections are not subverted by liberal activist courts, and we applaud him for that.”