Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Association Go to Supreme Court To Overturn a Rule Defunding the Abortion Giant of $60 Million in Title X Funds


Matthew Clark

October 14, 2020

6 min read

Pro Life



Planned Parenthood has reared its ugly head again like in the horror movies where the monster keeps returning. Now it’s demanding that the Supreme Court overturn the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule denying it access to millions in Title X funding.
We publicly supported President Trump’s proposed rule to cut taxpayer funding for abortion clinics – like Planned Parenthood – that provide abortion services. The move blocked approximately $60 million of Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding through the Title X program – money it was never supposed to have access to in the first place.

When the rule was finalized and abortionists like Planned Parenthood had to separate abortion from their other services, the abortion giant behaved like a petulant child, choosing to withdraw from the program altogether. Despite its many claims to the opposite, Planned Parenthood demonstrated how truly committed it is to killing innocent babies.

But now Planned Parenthood has climbed back out of its hole, and this time it’s dragging the American Medical Association (AMA) into its latest scheme to get its claws on that precious taxpayer money. Planned Parenthood and the AMA have joined forces to appeal its case to the Supreme Court:

The American Medical Association has partnered with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and others to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Trump administration rule banning abortion providers from receiving Title X funding.

The petition, submitted Thursday, comes as two U.S. appellate courts have reached different conclusions regarding the constitutionality of the Department of Health and Human Services’ “Protect Life” rule, which was implemented in 2019. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond, Virginia, has found the rule invalid while the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, California, has ruled that the Trump administration can continue to enforce it.

It was only a matter of time. After all, Title X funding equated to about $60 million of Planned Parenthood’s budget. In fact, prior to the new rule, Planned Parenthood accounted for as much as 41% of the services funded by Title X. And that’s just a small percentage of the $600+ million of involuntary taxpayer support it rakes in each year.

It has zero compunction about the fact that under the express language of Title X, “[n]one of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”

The fact of the matter is, there shouldn’t have even been a necessity for the HHS rule. It was already stated in black and white: Abortionists don’t get Title X money. But Planned Parenthood doesn’t care. It thinks it’s above the rules. Just this year, as so many Americans struggled through the Coronavirus pandemic, Planned Parenthood affiliates managed to apply for AND RECEIVE $80 million worth of COVID-19 relief money, even when large organizations such as Planned Parenthood were expressly prohibited from receiving these funds.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that for decades, Planned Parenthood found and exploited loopholes to drain millions out of the Title X program and the federal government looked the other way. Fortunately, President Trump didn’t turn a blind eye. He saw the problem and took action to stop it.

It’s also why we are pushing so hard for the Senate to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Judge Barrett is a constitutionalist who believes in the letter of the law. The Title X program excludes abortion services or referrals, and it always has, which means Planned Parenthood doesn’t qualify for it and never should have received a nickel from the program. It’s that simple. It got away with it long enough. We need Justices on the Supreme Court who will ensure it never does again.

In contrast, presidential hopeful Joe Biden has already vowed that he will restore Planned Parenthood’s access to Title X funds. According to Biden’s own so-called Agenda for Women, the former Vice President made it very clear he will be a champion for the abortion giant:

The Obama-Biden Administration fought Republican attacks on funding for Planned Parenthood again and again. As President, Biden will reissue guidance specifying that states cannot refuse Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other providers and reverse the Trump Administration’s rule preventing these organizations from obtaining Title X funds.

It’s interesting to note, Biden’s agenda also promises to “rescind the Mexico City Policy”; so if Biden gets his way, not only will our tax dollars be given back to Planned Parenthood through Title X to perform more abortions, but we’ll be paying for international abortions as well.

We will not stand by and watch Planned Parenthood manipulate the law to fill its own coffers. We filed public comments to the HHS supporting the rule. In fact, so did you. When we encouraged ACLJ members to file comments as well, you showed up in droves. ACLJ members constituted more than 10% of all the comments that the HHS received on the matter.

But we also took significant action in court. As we have previously explained:

At the ACLJ, we filed numerous amicus briefs in this case, and the Ninth Circuit agreed with our arguments.

First, Planned Parenthood and its pro-abortion state posse lost before a 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit – a stunning loss in and of itself because of how reliable the Ninth Circuit has been for Planned Parenthood. It then appealed that loss to an 11-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc. Again, it resoundingly lost. Desperate, it again asked that panel to rehear the case or for the Full Court (all 29 judges of the Ninth Circuit) to hear the case. It LOST AGAIN. Not only did it lose, but not a single judge on the entire Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals even wanted to vote on hearing the case. The Ninth Circuit’s order stated, “The full court has been advised of the Petitions, and no Judge has requested a vote on whether to rehear the matter as a full court. The Petitions are DENIED.”

It appears even the Ninth Circuit is sick of Planned Parenthood’s tactics. This was an absolute and utter debacle for Planned Parenthood.

We will continue to monitor this case; and if the Supreme Court takes up the case, our legal team will be prepared to file at the high Court to support the HHS rule and keep abortionists away from those tax dollars which are meant for real healthcare and to help actual families.