Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt yesterday joined a lawsuit brought by Ohio and ten other states against the Biden Administration, challenging a federal rule change that would allow taxpayer dollars to be used to encourage and support abortions.
The lawsuit, filed yesterday in the U.S. Southern District of Ohio, 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 both of those rules was to build walls to prevent the funding of abortion with taxpayer money — which remains illegal.
“Yesterday, we joined a lawsuit against the Biden Administration for reversing a rule by President Trump that prevented taxpayer dollars from being spent on abortions,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “My Office has vehemently defended Missouri’s law that prevents abortions based solely on a Down syndrome diagnosis, and we will continue to fight to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not spent on abortions and to defend the sanctity of life.”
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.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a rule lifting the program integrity requirements.
Along with Missouri and Ohio, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia joined the lawsuit.
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office has repeatedly defended Missouri’s law preventing abortions based solely on a Down syndrome diagnosis, and is awaiting an en banc review from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.