NEW YORK—A coalition of 21 State Attorneys General today filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Trump Administration’s new Title X “Gag Rule” that will significantly restrict access to reproductive health services and information for women and families. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Eugene, Oregon and led by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and New York Attorney General Letitia James.
The complaint can be found here. Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the American Medical Association filed a parallel lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court in Eugene, Oregon.
The rule relates to funding for Title X, the only federal grant program that funds family planning programs to help patients access contraception, breast and cervical cancer screenings, well-woman exams, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and other related health services.
“Title X funds provide essential family planning and health care services,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “These new rules are baseless, dangerous, and will prevent millions of people from obtaining access to quality and safe care. We will not let the Trump Administration put New Yorkers’ health and safety at risk.”
“As the Trump Administration wages war on reproductive rights, New York is saying no way, no how to this unabashed attempt to silence doctors and limit access to vital health care services,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “These rules are unethical and unconstitutional, and as promised, we will fight them in court to send a clear message that New York will always protect the fundamental rights of women.”
The lawsuit filed today alleges that the Title X rule, if implemented, would reduce access and erode the quality of reproductive health care that Title X was originally intended to provide care for low income individuals. The new rule would also interfere with the health care provider and patient relationship, by limiting what a doctor can say to a patient.
Under the new rule issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, providers in any clinic that receives Title X funding will be barred from referring a patient for an abortion (even if she requests that information), and in many circumstances even discussing an abortion with a patient. The new rule also mandates a referral for prenatal care for every pregnant patient, regardless of the needs or the wishes of the patient.
Joining Oregon in the lawsuit are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.