RUST v. SULLIVAN

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
89-1391
Petitioner 
Rust
Respondent 
Sullivan
Consolidation 
No. 89-1392
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the petitioners)
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

The national government provides funds for family planning services (Title X). The Department of Health and Human Services issued regulations limiting the ability of Title X fund recipients to engage in abortion-related activities. Title X funds were to be used only to support preventive family planning services.

Question 

Do the regulations violate the First and Fifth Amendment rights of clients and health providers?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for Sullivan, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: 42 U.S.C. 1008

No. The intent of Congress in the enactment of Title X is ambiguous with regard to abortion counseling. Consequently, the Court will defer to the expertise of the administrative agency. The Court held that the "regulations promulgated by the Secretary [of HHS] do not raise the sort of 'grave and doubtful constitutional questions' that would lead us to assume Congress did not intend to authorize their issuance." Should government subsidize one protected right (family planning), as it does in this case, it does not follow that government must subsidize analogous counterpart rights (abortion services).

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RUST v. SULLIVAN. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 12 December 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1990/1990_89_1391>.
RUST v. SULLIVAN, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1990/1990_89_1391 (last visited December 12, 2014).
"RUST v. SULLIVAN," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed December 12, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1990/1990_89_1391.