Protect Life Rule Goes Into Effect; Two Brooklyn Abortion Clinics May Close

In May of this year, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms reported that the Trump administration’s Protect Life Rule had been blocked by a federal court in the State of Washington.

Thankfully, a higher court saw the matter differently.

In June, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the temporary injunction that had blocked the implementation of the Protect Life Rule. On July 11, the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed that the rule could go into effect while lawsuits challenging it continued to proceed through the courts. And on July 15, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would begin implementing the rule.

The Protect Life Rule is an important policy. The rule removes an existing requirement that federally-funded family planning clinics offer abortion counseling and referrals. It also bars recipients of Title X funds from providing abortion services in the same facilities that house their Title X family planning programs. By requiring abortion providers to separate their federally-funded family planning activities from their abortion businesses, the Protect Life Rule costs them money; abortion providers must either (a) create two sets of books and two sets of facilities; or (b) decline to accept federal money. Taking money away from abortion providers saves lives.

Recent news from Brooklyn shows that the Protect Life Rule is already working. On August 12, Spectrum News NY1 reported that the misleadingly-named Public Health Solutions—a Brooklyn abortion clinic—was planning to close next month after refusing to accept federal money. The 2019-2020 New York State Budget included $16 million in funds to make up for the money that abortion providers would not receive due to the Protect Life Rule, but the funds have not yet been released. Pro-abortion Asm. Nily Rozic (D-Queens) bemoaned this situation, referring to it as a “worst-case scenario.” For the babies whose lives will not be taken at Public Health Solutions, it’s a best-case scenario.

Ultimately, legal challenges to the Protect Life Rule are likely to be decided by the Supreme Court. In the meantime, let’s pray that more abortion clinics will prepare to shut down.