States sue to keep tax money going to Planned Parenthood

Senator Marsha Blackburn- 7th Congressional District- Tennessee

The Title X program has become a battlefront in the USA fight over reproductive rights, with Democrats rallying to protect abortion rights against President Trump and Republicans who have made gains curtailing access to the procedure in this administration and in state legislatures in recent years.

A coalition of 20 states and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced a pair of lawsuits Monday aimed at blocking a new federal rule that bars taxpayer-funded clinics from referring patients for abortions.

"The rule undermines clinically established standards of care, interferes with the patient-provider relationship, and contradicts a core goal of the Title X program", the lawsuit says.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the state of Washington also have said they plan to sue.

In addition to OR and NY, the coalition lawsuit includes Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin. "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.

"What this new rule means is that providers in OR who receive Title X funding will have to decide whether they will refuse the funding OR "cave" to the requirements of this new rule".

"The Trump-Pence Administration has doubled down on its attacks on women's health", Becerra said in a statement.

"Under the Protect Life Rule abortion centers can not serve as taxpayer-funded family planning centers ('co-location')". A multi-state lawsuit, brought mostly by Democratic-controlled states, is set to be filed Tuesday in federal court in Eugene, Oregon, the NY attorney general's office said in a statement.

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

Federal funding can't be used for abortions, but the administration argues any money that goes to abortion providers could indirectly support the procedure. "Similar regulations have already been upheld by the Supreme Court and we are confident the Trump administration will prevail".

The rule is designed primarily to target Planned Parenthood, the largest provider under the Title X family-planning program.

That new rule could potentially affect thousands of Oregonians, many of them low-income and people of color. And last week, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced he would also challenge the rule. "This is yet another attack from the Trump administration on women and families, and 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".

Title X-funded clinics that don't honor what opponents have dubbed a "gag rule" will be forced to forgo federal funding.

"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".

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