Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Rust v. Sullivan ruling in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld federal regulations prohibiting federal funds (tax dollars) under Title X from being used for counseling or referring women on abortion as a method of family planning.

It was a momentous decision, affirming the Court’s earlier decision in Maher v. Roe that a “government may ‘make a value judgment favoring childbirth over abortion, and…implement that judgment by the allocation of public funds.”

One of the Court’s strongest holdings was the following:

The Government can, without violating the Constitution, selectively fund a program to encourage certain activities it believes to be in the public interest, without at the same time funding an an alternative program which seeks to deal with the problem in another way. In doing so, the Government has not discriminated on the basis of viewpoint; it has merely chosen to fund one activity to the exclusion of the other.