State Watch

Ohio sues Biden over reversal of Trump-era abortion referral ban

President Biden delivers remarks at NJ Transit Meadowlands Maintenance Complex in Newark, N.J. on Monday, October 25, 2021.
UPI Photo

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Monday seeking to restore a Trump-era ban on abortion referrals that the administration overturned earlier in October.

As Yost’s office specified in a release, the suit is not challenging the right to an abortion but is instead seeking to reinstate two measures. 

The measures Yost is seeking to reinstate require federally funded family planning clinics to be “physically and financially independent of abortion clinics” and mandate that they “refrain” from referring patients for abortions.

Earlier in October, the Biden administration rescinded the Trump-era measures, with the new rules set to go into effect beginning on Nov. 8. This decision by the White House restored the Title X program, from which federally funded family planning clinics receive funding, to how it operated between the years of 2000 and 2019.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said at the time, “We are making clear that access to quality family planning care includes accurate information and referrals — based on a patient’s needs and direction.”

However, Yost alleged that the Biden administration’s decision was breaking federal law.

“You can’t ‘follow the money’ when all the money is dumped into one pot and mixed together,” Yost said in a statement. “Federal law prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion — and that law means nothing if the federal money isn’t kept separate. That, frankly, is the real reason behind the rule.”

Yost’s challenge to the new rules is joined by Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia. Not all of these states participate in Title X. 

Tags Abortion Birth control David Yost Ohio Title X Trump-era rules Xavier Becerra Xavier Becerra
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