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Appeals court places Trump abortion referral ban on hold



The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has vacated a previous ruling that allowed the Trump administration to impose additional restrictions on low-income women seeking abortions, according to The Associated Press.

The federal appeals court said that a panel of 11 judges would reconsider the lawsuits filed by states and civil rights groups challenging the plans.

The ruling was handed down just weeks after a three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit ruled that the government's plan to ban federally funded family planning clinics from giving abortion referrals would be allowed to go into effect nationwide.

The Trump administration is also seeking to block clinics that receive federal funds from sharing space with abortion providers. The rules would affect organizations that provide health care through Title X, intended to strengthen access to family planning services.

Title X grants fund clinics offering contraceptive services to low-income women and men across the country.

The rules were expected to take effect May 3. However, lower courts in Oregon, Washington and California issued injunctions, each of which the administration appealed.

The Justice Department did not immediately return requests for comment from The Hill and the AP.

A three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit in June overruled the lower courts' injunctions, saying in its ruling that the requirements were " reasonable. " The judges added that the rules were in line with federal law that blocks taxpayer money from going to "programs where abortion is a method of family planning," the AP noted.

The AP reported that the injunctions will go into effect once again because the ruling was vacated. It remains unclear when the court will convene to hear new arguments regarding the case.

Planned Parenthood is one of the organizations that would have been severely impacted by the new rule. The organization serves about 40 percent of Title X patients and has left the program to go into effect.

The Trump administration's policy is in line with rules that were implemented in 1988 and later upheld at the Supreme Court. Forms President Clinton later issued a requirement for for clinics to give abortion counseling and referrals when asked.


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