- Court: United States Supreme Court
- Area(s) of Law: Administrative Law
- Date Filed: February 22, 2021
- Case #: 20-429
- Judge(s)/Court Below: 950 F.3d 1067 (9th Cir. 2020)
- Full Text Opinion
Respondents challenged a Health and Human Services (HHS) rule that prohibited medical facilities that receive federal funds under Title X from referring patients to abortion treatments. The Fourth Circuit and Ninth Circuit examined this matter, coming to opposing conclusions. The Ninth Circuit en banc found that the rule was supported by statutory restrictions that Title X funds not be used for abortion services. See 42 USC 300(a)(6). The Fourth Circuit en banc found that the rule controverted the “nondirective mandate” of the Affordable Care Act where abortion could not be referred. See 42 USC 18114. Both parties petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for review, citing this circuit-split. HHS argues that the rule conformed to its given statutory authority and that its understanding of Title X restrictions was reasonable. Respondent argues that the rule was “arbitrary and capricious” because the agency record did not answer concerns that the rule may cause doctors to disobey their medical ethics and that the rule was contrary to the “nondirective mandate” because it prohibited doctors from advising their patients of "all available options."