Published: Fri, March 01, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

AG Ferguson sues Trump over abortion regulations

AG Ferguson sues Trump over abortion regulations

The new rules announced last week would bar taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from making abortion referrals, and prohibit clinics that receive federal money from sharing office space with abortion providers. "This administration flouts the rule of law, and flouts it over and over again".

In New York City alone, 150,000 people receive health care through Title X each year, according to Planned Parenthood.

Wimes concluded in the decision that "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".

Planned Parenthood did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

This month, the Trump administration released its revised Final Rule on the regulations governing Title X. The Rule, according to the document released February 22 by the Department of Health and Human Services, will "require Title X providers to maintain physical and financial separation from locations which provide abortion as a method of family planning".

Under the program, which serves about 4 million women annually, two-thirds of whom have incomes at or below the federal poverty level.

The "Protect Life Rule" bars Title X grant money from any clinic that performs abortion, which will especially impact Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider.

Missouri requires that physicians at clinics providing abortion services have admitting privileges at a hospital, but Planned Parenthood sought an exemption from the rule because they were denied at a nearby hospital.

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Planned Parenthood has not specifically announced that it will sue, but Dr. Leana Wen, the organization's president, was clear last week in a call with reporters that "Planned Parenthood can not participate in a program that would force our providers to compromise their ethics".

But Lytle-Barnaby said there's no medical need for a physical separation.

State Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), a vocal advocate for women's health, also denounced the move and urged the Trump administration to "stop playing politics" with woman's health. For one thing, argued several members of Congress in a letter to HHS earlier this month, the department may have violated the federal Administrative Procedure Act that governs the crafting of regulations.

Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore expressed gratitude for the administration's action "that states unequivocally that family planning does not include abortion".

"Patients should be able to make well-informed decisions based on complete, unbiased information about their health care options", Ferguson said in a statement.

Leah Litman, an assistant professor of law at the University of California, Irvine, said the now more conservative Supreme Court might not necessarily accept those arguments, as well as others likely to be raised.

In July, Gov. Kate Brown threatened to pull the state out of the Title X program should the rule go into effect.

Julie Rovner is chief Washington correspondent for Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service, which is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation and not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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