Washington AG Announces Intent to Sue Over Title X Rule

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at a news conference announcing a lawsuit chal

Trump's Abortion 'Gag Rule' Met With First Legal Challenge

As part of the underlying Title X legislation, the public health service act clearly states, "None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning".

Regulatory changes to the federal program that sustains Planned Parenthood and other women's care providers have sparked serious concerns among healthcare advocates in New Jersey, where residents in 13 of the 21 counties depend on a single, federally funded-clinic for affordable family planning services.

Oregon's Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced February 22 that she would be filing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration for the rule changes.

"Planned Parenthood promotes itself as an indispensable health care provider and community asset, while downplaying its role as the nation's largest abortion vendor", the CLI authors observed. "This rule will make the shortage even more acute". "The Trump/Pence gag rule needs to be challenged; it prevents providers like me from being able to refer patients for safe, legal abortion". Now no Title X money can be used for abortions.

Specifically, Trump's rules would forbid family planning providers in nearly all cases from referring pregnant patients for abortion.

"The record does not provide a basis in evidence to approximate the number of women who will forego or postpone surgical abortion incidental to the inoperability of the Columbia Facility", he said. In that year, less than 4 percent of the services provided at the clinic were abortions, the staff said.

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While the new rule would permit clinic staff to discuss abortion with clients, it would no longer be required that they do so. "Without abortion, there would be no Planned Parenthood because, according to their own president, it is their 'core mission'".

Gov. Phil Murphy - who has reinstated annual state funding of almost $7.5 million for women's healthcare programs - joined with Democratic leaders from a dozen other states to challenge the Trump administration's proposed changes to Title X when they were first announced in June.

He intends to seek a court order blocking it from taking effect. It's not official until it appears in the Federal Register and the department said there could be "minor editorial changes". Here in Port Angeles, there is a Planned Parenthood located on East 8th Street in downtown.

While federal law already bars the money from being used for abortion services, the regulatory changes outlined by the Department of Health and Human Services last week are created to strengthen this barrier through physical and operational changes at facilities that receive Title X funding.

State law requires clinics that provide abortions to have physicians with admitting privileges at nearby hospital. The Center for Reproductive Rights has said it will sue on behalf of family planning providers in Maine.

Erin Berry, MD, medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Greater Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, called the rule "shameful and risky". "We won't withhold critical information from our patients". "It's unethical", she said. "Politicians have no business telling me what I can talk to my patients about".

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