ABC News reported that on Monday a United States Appeals Court upheld Trump administration changes including additional hurdles for those seeking abortions through a federal program that helps low-income women. 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 rules ban taxpayer-funded clinics in the Title X program from making abortion referrals and prohibit clinics that receive federal money from sharing office space with abortion providers, a rule critics said would force many to find new locations, undergo expensive remodels or shut down.
Support against hurdles.
More than 20 states and several civil rights and health organizations challenged the rules in cases filed in Oregon, Washington and California. Judges in all three states blocked the rules from taking effect, with Oregon and Washington courts issuing nationwide injunctions. One called the new policy “madness” and said it was motivated by “an arrogant assumption that the government is better suited to direct women’s health care than their providers.” Planned Parenthood has already left the Title X program over the new rules, giving up about $60 million a year in federal funding. The 9th Circuit’s majority opinion, by Judge Sandra Ikuta, found that the U.S. Supreme Court had already approved nearly identical regulations in a 1991 decision.
Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but federal laws prohibit the use of Title X or other taxpayer funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman. Abortion opponents and religious conservatives say Title X has long been used to indirectly subsidize abortion providers.
Roe v. Wade.
On January 22, 1973 the United States Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that unduly restrictive state regulation of abortion is unconstitutional. Justice Blackmun wrote the majority opinion where the court held that a set of Texas statutes criminalizing abortion violated a woman’s constitutional right of privacy, that being implicit in the liberty guarantee of the due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Roadblocks to treatment.
Creating roadblocks for women to be treated with abortion, by removing funding access to medical facilities that would be available to women in need is one mechanism of forcing centers to close down or become sparse when the necessity of accessing abortion is required, especially for poor women who may not have the funds or availability of transportation to other centers that are not close to the communities in which they live.
Women must be heard.
The argument remains loud and steady that a woman should be in control of her own body without interference from the government under the United States Constitution, but those who are against abortion argue that government funding should not be used to assist anyone who wants to undergo an abortion, unless they have been raped, are victims of incest or could lose their own life if the pregnancy was not terminated. Advocates for abortion will try to identify other measures to make sure that women can access the treatment they need under certain circumstances including alternate routes of funding for clinics and medical facilities that perform the procedure.