Planned Parenthood tells court unless it gets the ruling it wants, PPFA is leaving Title X program

By Dave Andrusko

Lawyers for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the world and a $1.6 billion dollar “non-profit,” have sent a letter to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announcing that PPFA will pull out of the Title X family planning program unless there is a court ruling in their favor.

“Absent emergency judicial relief, they [Planned Parenthood affiliates] must do so by the close of business on Monday, August 19—less than a week away,” wrote Planned Parenthood attorney Alan E. Schoenfeld.

As NRL News Today has reported on multiple occasions, there have been numerous developments since HHS issued a rule, finalized in February, which restored Title X family planning regulations to prohibit grantees from co-locating with abortion clinics, or from referring clients for abortion. No money was cut, but the rule ensures that health facilities receiving Title X funds do not perform or promote abortion as a method of family planning.

Of the $287 million Title X program, Planned Parenthood is the beneficiary of around $50 to $60 million.

In upholding the Trump Administration’s position, the effect of a June 20 decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was to lift a national injunctions ordered by lower federal courts in Oregon and Washington state, as well as a statewide injunction in California, as explained by POLITICO.

(In a real shocker, on July 11, the full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected emergency bids to temporarily set aside the June 20 decision.)

In a highly sympathetic Washington Post story which ran Wednesday, Ariana Eunjung Cha wrote

In a letter to United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Planned Parenthood attorneys said its affiliates had planned to refuse federal funds — but not drop out of the program — while its challenge of new Trump administration prohibitions on abortion referrals or ‘directed counseling’ made its way through the courts. Planned Parenthood leaders have said it is morally and medically wrong to not be able to offer their clients complete medical information.

But Health and Human Services officials recently required all participants in the program, known as Title X, to sign a pledge by Aug. 19, saying they would make a “good faith” effort to comply with the rule. HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary Diane Foley said Planned Parenthood’s proposal to remain in the program without doing that is “inconsistent.”

The story mentions but does not emphasize that HHS has made a number of good faith efforts to make clear what is required under the rule.

By contrast The Federalist’s Madeline Osburn quoted a spokesman from HHS’s Office of Population Affairs (OPA):

“Like all Title X providers, Planned Parenthood has the option to comply with the 2019 Title X Final Rule, which faithfully implement the statutes, and continue to receive federal funding,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman also said OPA is working with all grantees of the program to assist them in complying with the requirements of the new rule, and if Planned Parenthood does withdraw, they will “follow standard grants management procedures where possible.”

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