California sues Trump administration over Title X

Grant Boone
March 6, 2019

A coalition of 21 State AttorneysGeneral announced that they will be challenging the constitutionality of the Trump administration's new "gag rule" which alters the Title X family planning program.

More than 360 clinics in California receive federal family planning funding to provide birth control, cancer screenings, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and other health care services for primarily low-income patients.

OR leaders are preparing to sue the Trump administration over a new rule they say will "significantly restrict access to reproductive health services and information".

The multistate lawsuit includes Oregon, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. The regulation, scheduled to go into effect in April, would block about $60 million in family planning funding to Planned Parenthood because it provides and refers for abortions. "Neither is a good or fair option for women and families who often have no other access to medical care", Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said. The Department of Health and Human Services said in announcing it that the rule "protects Title X healthcare providers so that they are not required to choose between participating in the program and violating their own consciences".

The suit comes after California filed a lawsuit Monday against the gag on Title X funding going to abortion groups. In a news statement, OR officials explained, for example, that "it would require health clinics to open another location, OR create a separate entrance for patients, have separate examination rooms, hire separate personnel to work at separate workstations, maintain a separate phone number and website, and have separate electronic medical systems in order to continue to accept Title X funds". 21 state Attorneys General have joined the lawsuit in addition to Oregon.

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Administration officials have told abortion opponents that they expected a number of legal challenges to the new rule.

The new Trump administration rule would steer millions of dollars from the federal family planning program - Title X - away from providers such as Planned Parenthood, which performs abortions, and toward health care providers with religious affiliations. "We'll fight this attack on women's health in court". "The new Title X regulations are a win-win for all Americans". In a statement, Becerra said the rule would deny "patients access to critical health care services and prevents doctors from providing comprehensive and accurate information about medical care".

On Monday, 21 states announced they would be filing a federal lawsuit Tuesday in OR, arguing the rule imposes "an unlawful and unethical restriction on health care professionals".

Pro-choice activists, politicians and others associated with Planned Parenthood gather for a news conference and demonstration at City Hall against the Trump administrations title X rule change on February 25, 2019 in New York City. Supporters of the rule, such as Californians for Life, expect funding for faith-based family planning organizations to increase.

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