Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,300+ case briefs...

Rust v. Sullivan

United States Supreme Court
500 U.S. 173 (1991)



In 1970, Congress enacted Title X of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) that provided federal funding for family planning services. However, the PHSA specified that none of the federal funds were to be used in programs where abortion was considered a method of family planning. In 1988, Sullivan (defendant), the Secretary of Health and Human Services, issued new regulations that attached three principal conditions on the grant of federal funds for Title X projects. Firstly, Title X projects could not provide counseling concerning the use of or provide referral for abortion as a method of family planning. Secondly, projects could not engage in activities that encouraged, promoted, or advocated abortion as a method of family planning. Thirdly, Title X projects were required to be organized so they were physically and financially separate from prohibited abortion activities. Before the new regulations could be applied, however, Rust and others similarly situated (plaintiffs)—Title X grantees and doctors who supervised Title X funds—brought suit in federal district court challenging the regulations’ validity and seeking an injunction to prevent their implementation. The district court upheld the regulations as constitutional, and the court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)

Dissent (Blackmun, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 486,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 486,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,300 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial