Federal court blocks Trump admin restrictions on Maryland abortion clinics
Mary Margaret Olohan on September 4, 2020
A federal court blocked restrictions placed by President Donald Trump’s administration on Maryland abortion clinics Thursday.
The ruling, which only applies to Maryland, blocks the administration’s restrictions on federal family planning funds for Maryland organizations that make abortion referrals or provide abortions, such as Planned Parenthood, Politico reported.
The publication noted that the 9th Circuit had previously allowed the restrictions to move forward, a contradiction that makes it likely that the Supreme Court will take up the case.
“The Final Rule was promulgated in an arbitrary and capricious manner because it failed to recognize and address the ethical concerns of literally every major medical organization in the country, and it arbitrarily estimated the cost of the physical separation of abortion services,” Judge Stephanie Thacker of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote.
The judge also noted that “the Final Rule contravenes statutory provisions requiring non directive counseling in Title X programs and prohibiting interference with physician/patient communications.”
The ruling comes after the Trump administration declared in July 2019 that taxpayer-funded clinics must stop referring women for abortions effective immediately, warning that family planning clinics that refer women for abortions would be stripped of their Title X funding.
Following this move from the Trump administration, Planned Parenthood withdrew from the Title X federal family planning program in August 2019, according to Politico, thereby forgoing about $60 million a year.
“We will not be bullied into withholding abortion information from our patients,” acting Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson said on an August 2019 call to reporters, according to Politico.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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