California sues over abortion rule; other states to follow


OR is among 21 Democratic-led states announcing they will challenge the Trump administration's effort to set up obstacles for women seeking abortions, including barring taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers.

California has filed dozens of lawsuits challenging a number of the Trump administration's actions. Oregon's attorney general said her state and 20 others, including NY, plan to file a lawsuit on Tuesday. The administration announced those changes last month.

Washington, D.C., and 19 states said they would sue separately in OR on Tuesday.

The plaintiffs in the multistate lawsuit are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin. Before the rule change, the federal money could not be used to perform abortions.

Called the "gag rule" by its opponents, a new requirement from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) limits health care providers' ability to educate their patients about abortion as an option.

The plan, announced by the Department of Health and Human Services in February, would require "clear financial and physical separation" between Title X-compliant facilities and those that provide abortions or abortion referrals, the administration said. The grant program funds reproductive health services like contraceptives, ultrasounds, wellness exams, and more. "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". "HHS has exceeded the scope its statutory authority and acted in a manner that is arbitrary, capricious, and not in accordance with law", Becerra wrote in California's suit, according to the Post.

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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". "I will continue to fight back against this administration as they continue to undermine health care for those who need it most". "The Trump-Pence Administration's sabotage of Title X services that millions of women across our nation rely on is not only irresponsible, it is risky to women's health". "President Trump treats women and their care as if this were 1920, not 2019", Becerra said.

The "gag" rule, as opponents of the proposal refer to it, would also be initiated if the bill passes, which would bar federally funded family planning clinics from referring women for abortions.

"For years abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which ends the lives of more than 332,000 unborn children a year, have treated the Title X program like their own multimillion-dollar slush fund", she said.

Rosenblum said the new rule may force medical providers to choose between receiving the federal funds or providing patients with full reproductive health coverage.

The complaint is expected to be filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Eugene, Oregon, Brown and Rosenblum said in a statement. "It's unethical, and it flies in the face of the oath I took to care for my patients", Dr. Erin Berry said at a news conference last week.