States Ready Lawsuits to Block New Trump Administration Abortion Policy

Faith Castro
March 6, 2019

The lawsuits were filed by California's pro-abortion attorney general Xavier Becerra, and 20 other states. The administration announced those changes last month. Washington officials said last week that they plan to sue.

Oregon, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia are plaintiffs in the coalition suit, according to the Post.

Rosenblum's office said that the new rule also mandates that every pregnant patient receive a referral for prenatal care, "regardless of the needs or the wishes of the patient".

Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia are suing the Trump administration over a new "gag rule" that could prevent family planning clinics that provide abortions or abortion referrals from receiving federal funds.

More than 37,000 patients passed through Title X clinics in OR in 2017, majority below the federal poverty level.

"At FQHCs women benefit from better regulatory oversight, a wider range of services, and more life-affirming options", she said. "The Protect Life Rule does not prohibit Title X providers from providing neutral, nondirective counseling about abortion and does not prevent anyone from obtaining Title X services", the organization said.

The rule is designed primarily to target Planned Parenthood, the largest provider under the Title X family-planning program. And while Planned Parenthood certainly stands to lose millions, independent clinics and health centers that don't have national name recognition - like those in ME - see this as a fight for their survival, too. "The final regulation is the latest of numerous recent decisions - from rolling back insurance coverage for contraceptives to attempting to eliminate funding for evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs - that unravel the threads of this safety net".

Anti-abortion groups have cheered the administration's push to revise Title X. "It is appalling that the federal government wants to rob individuals of the right to complete medical information and full access to the critical health care services they rely on".

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"This gag rule is an attack on women everywhere", Siebel Newsom said.

The California suit argues that the rule changes "effectively rewrite the Title X statute, operating well beyond the agency's regulatory authority, to effectuate a policy principle that relegates women's health care to second class status". "President Trump treats women and their care as if this were 1920, not 2019", Becerra said. The rule bars taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers.

That new rule could potentially affect thousands of Oregonians, many of them low-income and people of color.

Both lawsuits are calling for an injunction to stop the HHS rule from taking effect as scheduled in 60 days.

California filed the first lawsuit on Monday.

The Hill reported that a separate lawsuit, led by Oregon Democrat Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and New York Democrat Attorney General Letitia James, will be filed Tuesday. But facilities in New Hampshire are still bracing for sweeping reductions.

Abortion rights activists and other backers of Planned Parenthood at a demonstration in NY last month against the Trump administration's Title X rule change. And independent clinics say the funding cuts will draw away from nonabortion related care such as contraceptives and STD treatment.

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