Oregon Leads Fight Against Trump Anti-Abortion 'Gag Rule'


Once again taking aim at President Trump, California on Monday filed its 47th lawsuit against the administration, this time to block a move that would effectively strip millions of federal dollars from reproductive health providers that perform abortions and abortion referrals.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and a group of 20 states announced separate lawsuits Monday against the Trump administration's "Protect Life" rule which will partially defund Planned Parenthood along with other abortion providers due to new requirements that federal Title X family planning funds can not go to abortion facilities. The administration announced those changes last month.

Twenty-one states and Washington, D.C., have announced two lawsuits challenging the Trump administration's ban on federal funding to clinics that provide abortion referrals.

In addition to OR, the states participating in the lawsuit are 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.

"The Trump-Pence administration has doubled down on its attacks on women's health", said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

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The "gag rule," as opponents are calling it, applies to family planning programs funded by a federal grant program known as Title X. According to Rosenblum's office, Title X funds access to contraception, breast and cervical cancer screenings, wellness exams, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and other related health services. Federal funding is not used for abortion services.

HHS said in the final rule that the change addresses "concerns over the fungibility of Title X resources and the potential use of Title X resources to support programs where, among other things, abortion is a method of family planning".

The rule is designed primarily to target Planned Parenthood, the largest provider under the Title X family-planning program. Planned Parenthood receives about $60 million from the program. The funding would instead largely shift to faith-based groups.

Opponents have called it a "gag" rule that compromises medical ethics and endangers the lives of patients because it explicitly bars doctors, nurses or other care personnel from referring a woman for an abortion. "HHS has exceeded the scope its statutory authority and acted in a manner that is arbitrary, capricious, and not in accordance with law", he wrote.

In a statement, Becerra claimed that the rule would deny "patients access to critical health care services and prevents doctors from providing comprehensive and accurate information about medical care". "Similar regulations have already been upheld by the Supreme Court and we are confident the Trump administration will prevail".

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"President Trump has chose to attack a program that helps to ensure that every person has access to basic, preventive and reproductive health care", Siebel Newsom said.

"Contrary to pro-abortion misinformation, the Protect Life Rule does not cut Title X funding by a single dime - it simply enforces the existing statute that draws a bright line of separation between abortion and family planning", Dannenfelser said.

California's attorney general said the new rule affects 4 million mostly low-income women nationwide and 1 million women in California.

Leading what is expected to be a national battle over the issue, California on Monday sued the Trump administration seeking to block a new regulation that restricts access to abortion and other family-planning services.

IL and 19 other states intend to file lawsuits that seek to block the Trump administration's new rule to make it more hard for women to get abortions. But facilities in New Hampshire are still bracing for sweeping reductions.

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