Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is one of 21 state attorneys general who will challenge the constitutionality of the President Donald Trump Administration’s new “gag rule” altering the Title X family planning program.
The rule bans Planned Parenthood and other groups from a $286 million federal family planning program, as the Advance reported. The money for the program serving roughly 4 million low-income women likely will be steered into faith-based groups that oppose abortion.
A national lawsuit will be filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Eugene, Ore. The lawsuit national is being led by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and New York Attorney General Letitia James.
“Tens of thousands of Michigan residents utilize the vitally important high-quality health care supported by Title X funds,” Nessel said. ”These services — which include breast and cervical screening, well-woman exams, STI screenings and treatment, and many reproductive services including health, education and counseling —are provided at 93 clinic sites in 72 out of 83 counties in our state and it would be irresponsible of us to turn our backs on this critical funding issue.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hit back at the Trump administration over the so-called “gag rule” last month.
“Along with other newly elected governors, I will explore all options to block these changes,” she said.
“Title X ensures that every person has access to birth control, STI testing, cancer screenings, and other essential health care services — no matter where they live and how much money they have,” Whitmer continued. “The Trump administration’s actions undermine this bipartisan supported federal-state partnership that has improved the health of women and families for decades.
Under the rule, family planning clinics receiving federal funds can no longer refer patients for abortion. They maintain a “clear physical and financial separation” between government-funded services and any organization that provides abortions or abortion referrals, the Washington Post reports. Groups receiving Title X money already were barred using it for abortions.
“What this new rule means is that providers who receive Title X funding will have to decide whether they will refuse the funding or ‘cave’ to the requirements of this new rule,” said Rosenblum. “Neither is a good or fair option for women and families who often have no other access to medical care. I’m proud that Oregon is taking the lead in this important lawsuit. Oregonians have voted time and time again to support women’s reproductive health freedoms.”