The American Medical Association (AMA) has joined with Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to block a Trump administration rule that marks a clear boundary between abortion and family planning.
The groups filed the petition Thursday following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and before Senate confirmation hearings begin for President Donald Trump’s nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, to fill the vacancy.
The abortion rights groups are asking the Supreme Court to “correct” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s decision to uphold the Trump administration rule.
According to the AMA:
The petitioners argue that until the Ninth Circuit’s erroneous decision is corrected, the administration’s gag rule is harming patient care and causing physicians and other health care professionals to violate ethical obligations by preventing Title X clinics from providing full information to patients about all of their reproductive care options. This marks the first time in recent history the AMA has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court, further underscoring the government’s significant overstep in issuing the rule.
Our nation’s highest court must step in to remove govt. overreach & interference in the exam room. Restricting the info docs can provide to #TitleX patients blocks honest, informed conversations about all health care options. #LetDocsSpeak #SaveTitleX https://t.co/MT7lt3VDan
— AMA (@AmerMedicalAssn) October 1, 2020
In February 2019, the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule that would block family planning funding to abortion providers who refer women and girls for abortions.
The new regulation reinstated President Ronald Reagan’s “Protect Life Rule,” which bars the “co-location” of federally funded family planning clinics and abortion clinics. The rule prohibits the use of the funds to “perform, promote, refer for, or support abortion as a method of family planning.”
Planned Parenthood, which profits from abortions, and the AMA joined Oregon and 19 other states, and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit to block the new policy, which they refer to as a “gag rule.”
In April 2019, Judge Michael J. McShane of U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, an Obama appointee, blocked the Trump rule, calling it a “ham-fisted approach to public health policy, one that emphasizes a political issue over Title X’s stated goal of reducing unintended pregnancies.”
In August 2019, however, the Ninth Circuit upheld the Trump administration’s rule.
Subsequently, Planned Parenthood decided to withdraw from the Title X grant program, rather than have to give up referring women and girls for abortions.
In September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the lower court’s decision to block the rule.
AMA President Susan Bailey, MD, said in a statement:
The AMA strongly believes that our nation’s highest court must step in to remove government overreach and interference in the patient-physician relationship. Restricting the information that physicians can provide to their Title X patients blocks honest, informed conversations about all health care options—an unconscionable violation that is essentially a gag rule. As physicians and leaders in medicine, we are fighting against the government’s intrusion in the exam room while protecting open communication between patients and physicians, which is the foundation of high-quality medical care.
However, the AMA supported the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which is considered by many to be the greatest “government overreach and interference in the patient-physician relationship” in decades.
The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists (AAPLOG) asserted in a statement to Breitbart News that “abortion is not healthcare.”
“Planned Parenthood’s Supreme Court brief attacking Title X rules confirms its longstanding prioritization of abortion over any actual women’s health services,” the group said, adding:
Women deserve excellent healthcare. Abortion increases preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies, increases a woman’s risk of suicide, substance abuse, major depression and all cause mortality, and increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer if aborting a first pregnancy and delaying term pregnancy subsequently.
“Women need to trust that their providers are serving their healthcare needs, not a political agenda,” AAPLOG concluded. “Planned Parenthood has shown it’s entirely focused on a procedure that more than 85% of American OB-GYNs refuse to perform. We’ll continue to fight for women and unborn children.”