On Monday, a U.S. appeals court upheld Trump administration rules that bar health care providers in the federal family planning program for low-income women from referring patients for abortions. The 7-4 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned decisions issued by judges in Washington, Oregon, and California. The court had already allowed the administration's changes to begin taking effect while the government appealed those rulings.
The changes ban taxpayer-funded clinics in the Title X program from making abortion referrals, a restriction that opponents characterize as a "gag rule." They also prohibit clinics that receive federal money from sharing office space with abortion providers, which critics said will force many Title X providers to find new locations, undergo expensive remodels, or shut down — reducing access to the program.
It is noteworthy that this decision was reached by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This court, the largest appellate circuit in the nation, has earned the unaffectionate "9th Circus" moniker in legal circles because its decisions are reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) more than any other circuit. It is also known as a court that leans in a distinctly unconstitutional direction. Then presidential candidate Donald Trump promised to nominate constitutionalist jurists to the federal bench at every level of the judiciary. That promise led many people concerned about the way the courts have been used to foist a secular progressive agenda on the nation. Thus far, Trump has kept that promise.
Though it gets most of the attention in the national media, SCOTUS usually hears about 100 cases per year. The appellate courts, however, hear about 30,000 cases per year. That means our country is usually left with the decisions made at the appellate level. The 9th Circuit's 7-4 decision upholding Trump’s Title X rule, the same rule that removed $60 million per year from Planned Parenthood, is an early indication that the president’s judicial strategy is working. The seven judges that upheld the Title X rule were all appointed by Republican presidents. Two of the seven judges in the majority were appointed by Trump in 2019. The four judges who opposed Trump's efforts to protect unborn children’s lives were all appointed by former President Bill Clinton. Elections have consequences. One of the lasting consequences of presidential elections is the makeup of the federal judiciary.
President Trump has followed through on his campaign promises to be a pro-life president and make protecting the lives of innocent unborn babies a priority. Please continue to pray for him, and pray that we will see the end of abortion in America one day soon.