A coalition of 12 states led by Ohio filed a lawsuit on Monday, Oct. 25, against the Biden administration to take back the regulations implemented during the Trump era, through which clinics that receive federal funding are prohibited from performing abortions and referring patients to “family planning clinics” for that purpose.

Xavier Becerra, head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), reported on Oct. 4 that the federal family planning program would be restored to the way it operated under the Obama administration when millions of taxpayer dollars were used to fund abortions, AP News reported at the time.

Under the new HHS provision, beginning Nov. 8, clinics that receive federal funds will again be able to refer pregnant women for abortions—leaving without effect President Donald Trump’s regulation imposed in February 2019, which required organizations that perform abortions and make referrals for that purpose to do so at clinics that do not receive federal funds.

Faced with this situation, the coalition of 12 attorneys general representing their respective states filed a lawsuit Monday against the Biden administration.

Dave Yost, Ohio’s attorney general, led the lawsuit that essentially seeks to restore the Trump administration’s policy requiring Title X clinics to be physically and financially independent of abortion clinics and to refrain from referring patients for abortion as well.

Title X is a nearly half-century-old federal family planning program that provides about $286 million in annual grants to clinics primarily serving low-income people.

Yost, a well-known Republican, said the interest in reinstating the Trump-era rule is ultimately to ensure that federally funded clinics can only receive taxpayer funds for family planning services other than abortion.

“You can’t ‘follow the money’ when all the money is dumped into one pot and mixed together,” Yost said in a statement. “Federal law prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion—and that law means nothing if the federal money isn’t kept separate.”

Trump’s measure forced Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics to provide separate health services. For example, cancer screenings, Pap tests, and breast exams would be presented separately from their abortion services.

What had been achieved with this regulation is that taxpayer funds would not finance businesses engaged in the abortion trade. Instead, the law’s original purpose was to maintain its original objective, which was to finance medical care for citizens with fewer resources.

Following the ideology of the most leftist sectors of the Democratic Party, the health authorities understand abortion and family planning as an issue directly associated with health and medical care. 

This is why upon taking office in January, President Joe Biden criticized the Trump administration’s pro-life policies and said in a memo that they “put women’s health at risk by making it difficult for women to receive complete medical information.”

HHS originally proposed the regulation change in April but was required to undergo a period of notice, discussions, and additional review before the rule could be finalized.

After overcoming legal hurdles, HHS now confirmed the repeal of the Trump-era regulation delivering good news to sectors associated with the abortion industry.

The 11 conservative-tinged states that joined Ohio’s lawsuit are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

It remains to be seen how the judges will respond to the new lawsuit in this long struggle between pro-life sectors and politicians associated with the left who seek to normalize and extend abortion as a right that the government must fund. 

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