U.S. Supreme Court considers restricting Trump administration to abortion referral

 U.S. Supreme Court considers restricting Trump administration to abortion referral


 U.S. Supreme Court considers restricting Trump administration to abortion referral

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday approved the legality of a government regulation implemented under former President Donald Trump that prevents health clinics from receiving federal funds for family planning if they submit abortion referrals.

The justices will hear appeals in cases challenged by 21 states, including Oregon, New York California the City of  Baltimore and organizations including the u.s Medical Association and Planned Parenthood, in a 2019 regulation issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.

President Joe Biden, who took office on January 20, said during the campaign that he would reverse course from the Trump administration's base. Such a reversal would require a new regulation after the customary federal rule-making process.

Critics of Trump's list have called Trump a "no-publication rule" because they argue that it prevents medical professionals from advising on abortion if the clinic receives family planning funds through Title 10 of the Public Health Services Act of 1970. The rule also requires physical separation at any facility that receives federal funding and also provides abortions.

The Trump administration has said that the rule does not prohibit the provision of all abortion information to patients, but imposes a provision in a 1970 law prohibiting the use of funds "in programs where abortion is a means of family planning."

Prior to the 2019 law, health care providers could receive Title X funds if they made abortion referrals as long as the funds were used only for other family planning purposes.

The goal of the rule was to help Trump fulfill his 2016 campaign pledge to end federal support for Planned Parenthood, which received about $60 million a year, or five Title X funds. Planned Parenthood which provides reproductive health services including abortions left the program in 2019 instead of complying with the rule.

In February 2020, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the rule in an appeal filed by states and medical groups. In a separate ruling in September 2020 in the lawsuit filed by Baltimore, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, found the rule illegal.

Currently, the rule is in effect with the exception of Maryland, where a federal judge has blocked it in the Baltimore case.