Pro-life groups ask Supreme Court to stop federal gov't from funding abortions

Protesters on both sides of the abortion issue gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building during the Right To Life March, on January 18, 2019, in Washington, D.C. The Right to Life Campaign held its annual March For Life rally and march to the U.S. Supreme Court protesting the high court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision making abortion legal. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A group of pro-life organizations have filed a brief asking the United States Supreme Court to stop the government from expanding the federal funding of abortions.

The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, and the Catholic Medical Association filed a supplemental brief in support of intervention on Monday in the consolidated cases of American Medical Association v. Cochran, Oregon v. Cochran, and Cochran v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore.

At issue in the cases is a 2019 rule enacted during the Trump administration that prohibits federal Title X family planning funding to go to entities that provide or promote abortions.

In the supplemental brief, the pro-life groups expressed opposition to a proposed dismissal of the challenge by the Biden administration, which will likely reverse the 2019 rule.

“When the federal government issues valid administrative rules, the public interest supports enforcing those rules until they are changed through proper regulatory procedures. Abandonment of valid statutes and regulations signals the demise of the rule of law itself,” stated the brief, in part.

“The only apparent purpose of proceeding via joint stipulation is to deprive interested parties of their ability to defend the 2019 Rules.”

The pro-life groups are being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative law firm that specializes in religious liberty cases and has argued before the Supreme Court.

The brief also expressed support for a joint motion by 19 states to ask the Supreme Court to stop the Biden administration from scrapping the 2019 rule on Title X family planning funding.

“To be sure, some States provide such funding. And many advocates would like to see more public funding. But the broader national consensus against funding elective abortion remains,” stated the joint motion.

“Title X reflects this consensus. Since its 1970 enactment, the law has funded non-abortion family planning. All the while, it has banned the use of Title X funds ‘in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.’”

In January, President Joe Biden issued a memorandum asking the Department of Health and Human Services to review restrictions on funding for entities that provide or promote abortion.

Biden claimed that the Title X rule put "undue restrictions" on federal funding and put "women’s health at risk by making it harder for women to receive complete medical information." 

"The [law] specifies that Title X funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning, but places no further abortion-related restrictions on recipients of Title X funds," read the Biden memo.

Based on that reasoning, Acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar submitted a short brief to the Supreme Court last week asking for them to dismiss the litigation over the 2019 rule.  

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