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Federal Appeals Court Rules in Biden Administration’s Favor on Government-Funded Abortion Referrals

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Federally funded family planning clinics can continue to make abortion referrals, a federal appeals court ruled this week. The ruling came after several state attorneys general filed a lawsuit to restore a Trump-era ban on clinics receiving federal funds from referring patients to abortion services.


On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati denied the request by 12 states to pause the new policy implemented under the Biden administration. 

As I covered in October, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) policy reverted back to how it ran under the Obama administration, where clinics could refer patients to abortion providers.

“The states were eager to stop implementation before the next round of federal grants starts rolling out in March,” NBC News reported

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who led the lawsuit, wants the policies to be permanently reinstated to how they were in 2019 under President Trump.

“One [policy] required federally funded family planning clinics to be physically and financially independent of abortion clinics. The other required them to refrain from referring patients for abortions,” NBC added. “He argues the rules were intended as firewalls between family planning clinics, which can recieve taxpayer funding, and their abortion services, which cannot.”

Other states that joined the lawsuit include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia. 

“U.S. District Judge Timothy Black [for the Southern District of Ohio] rejected that argument in a ruling last month, denying a preliminary injunction that would have temporarily paused the rules. The 12 states appealed his decision to the 6th Circuit, which said they failed to prove they’d be irreparably harmed by the rules going into effect,” NBC noted.


Black, an Obama appointee, reportedly said the case centered on a policy disagreement, not a legal one.

“Title X no more subsidized abortions than funding a homeless shelter subsidizes substance abuse” Black said.

The Biden administration’s decision to revert a Trump-era abortion policy that prevented taxpayer funds from subsidizing terminations is just one example of the administration’s radical pro-abortion agenda. As Townhall has covered, the Biden administration also stripped pro-life protections like the Hyde Amendment and the Weldon Amendment from the this year’s budget. 

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