21 States Suing Trump Administration in Attempt to Block Abortion “Gag Rule”

The stipulation is an "extraordinary overreach," according to California's attorney general.

abortion gag rule
Pro-choice activists, politicians and others associated with Planned Parenthood gather for a demonstration. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A coalition of 20 states plus California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra (D), announced individual law suits on Monday, each seeking to block the Trump administration’s changes to the Title X family planning program.

The new rule would shift tens of millions of dollars from Planned Parenthood toward faith-based clinics, The Washington Post reported. But the suits are seeking to obtain a court injunction that would top the rule from taking effect in 60 days.

If it passed, the new law would affect more than 4 million low-income women who receive services including cancer screenings and pregnancy tests through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) program.

“Everyone deserves the ability make their own decisions about their health care,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement. “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.”

The administration is seeking to impose what it’s calling a “bright line” of physical and financial separation between the provision of family planning and abortion services, effectively requiring Planned Parenthood to drastically alter its operations, or forego an estimated $60 million in annual funding, the Post reported.

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.

“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 his California filing.

“[The rule denies] patients access to critical health care services and prevents doctors from providing comprehensive and accurate information about medical care,” he added in a statement.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.