(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has scored a substantial victory in his legal challenge to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rules that circumvented Congress’ judgment regarding how Title X family planning funds can be used.
In a 2-1 opinion in Ohio et al. v. Becerra et al., the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday granted Ohio an injunction against a significant part of the HHS rules. The court called the rules “contrary to” Title X law, saying they “impermissibly permit” taxpayer funding for family planning programming that provides abortion.
“Whatever your opinion on abortion as a moral matter,” Yost said, “the court vindicated Congress’ considered judgment that tax dollars should not fund programs that use abortion as a method of family planning.”
The appeals court decision stems from a lawsuit filed in 2021 by Ohio and 12 other states seeking a preliminary injunction against the Biden administration’s rules changes, calling them “arbitrary and capricious” and in violation of the Title X law.
A lower court denied the preliminary injunction, and the state appealed the ruling.
In its ruling this week, the appeals court granted an injunction exclusively to Ohio, not the co-plaintiff states, saying that only Ohio had demonstrated a substantial loss of funds that warrants an injunction. Ohio showed how the Ohio Department of Health’s grant money decreased significantly after the rule changes allowed Planned Parenthood to re-enter the Title X program.
Yost and his team are currently assessing the full impact of the injunction.
Planned Parenthood may be compelled to make program adjustments or forfeit the Title X funds in Ohio.