Attorney General Peterson Joins Suit to Stop Federal Funding of Abortions

(KFOR NEWS  October 26, 2021)   A federal rule change allowing for taxpayer dollars to be used to encourage and support abortions has prompted Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson to join Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost in suing the Biden administration. A total of 12 states are involved in this effort.

The lawsuit, filed today in the U.S. Southern District of Ohio, does not challenge the right to an abortion, which the U.S. Supreme Court created in Roe v. Wade. Instead, it seeks to reinstate rule changes made in 2019 that required federally funded family-planning clinics to (1) be physically and financially independent of abortion clinics and (2) refrain from referring patients for abortions.

The purpose of those prior requirements was to build walls to prevent the funding of abortion with taxpayer money — which remains illegal.

The Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of 1970 appropriated public funding for family planning clinics, called Title X clinics, to increase low-income Americans’ access to contraceptives and preventative health services. But the law prohibits funds from being “used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”

In May, Yost and attorneys general from 20 other states, including Nebraska, sent a letter warning the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services against reversing the 2019 rules.

Despite that warning and the Title X law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a rule lifting the program integrity requirements. This lawsuit challenges that new rule.

Ohio’s challenge is joined by Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia. Not all states participate in Title X.

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