A federal judge has stopped President Trump from attempting to save the lives of countless unborn children across the country via a preliminary injunction on Thursday.
The Washington Examiner reports the Trump administration previously enacted new Title X rules, set to go into effect on May 3, which would have drastically changed the American abortion industry. These rules, however, were halted by Judge Stanley Bastian of Washington state, an Obama appointee.
The new rules would affect $286 million of Title X funding from being used by abortion providers like Planned Parenthood “unless they have a ‘physical and financial’ separation of family planning services and abortion,” the Washington Examiner reports.
The rule was set to take effect May 3 and would have stripped Title X funding from providers that refer patients to an abortion provider even if they ask for such a referral — a provision critics have labeled a “gag rule.” It would have the effect of excluding Planned Parenthood, which currently serves about 40 percent of all Title X patients nationwide while funding conservative groups opposed to contraception and abortion that promote abstinence and natural family planning methods.
Nearly two dozen states and several medical providers and advocacy groups have sued to block the rule. Some of those states, as well as all Planned Parenthood affiliates, had also threatened to drop out of the Title X program entirely if the rule takes effect, forfeiting millions of dollars and leaving low-income women in many areas with few or no options for free or subsidized care.
Here’s more from the Washington Examiner:
Bastian said he would block the rule following three hours of oral arguments, according to the Washington attorney general’s office. Democratic Attorney General Bob Ferguson brought the suit alongside the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association.
The decision came two days after a federal judge in Oregon vowed he would also block the rules from taking effect, at least partially. Lawsuits have also been heard this week in Maine and last week in California by attorneys general and abortion providers.
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Under the rules the Trump administration planned to put into effect May 3, healthcare facilities cannot get the grants unless they have a “physical and financial” separation of family planning services and abortion. They also are not allowed to have doctors who directly refer patients to abortions.
Organizations like Planned Parenthood have said that in order to keep the Title X grants under the new rules, they would need to build separate entrances and exits, construct new health centers, and hire a second staff of doctors, nurses, and administrative staff. The rule allows them a year to make the changes.
According to the report, the main purpose of the new rules is to shift financial resources away from abortion-providing facilities and towards healthcare centers.
As Breitbart reports, Judge Michael J. McShane of U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, another Obama appointee, similarly said he would block the funding with a preliminary injunction.
The judge reportedly referred to the new Title X rules as a “ham-fisted approach to public health policy, one that emphasizes a political issue over Title X’s stated goal of reducing unintended pregnancies.”
Here’s more from Breitbart:
However, according to the rule, Planned Parenthood and other abortion vendors who wish to continue to receive Title X family planning funds may do so if they choose either to end their abortion services from all locations that receive the Title X funding or move those abortion services offsite to an entirely different location.
While the abortion lobby claims the Trump administration’s rule will create a negative impact on low-income individuals, March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said the new rule actually protects individuals at or near the poverty level.
“[The] new regulation protects low-income women who rely on Title X assistance because no funds will be cut from the program,” she said, observing that women in need can receive family planning services at federally qualified health centers (FQHC), which outnumber abortion centers 20 to one.
“At FQHCs women benefit from better regulatory oversight, a wider range of services, and more life-affirming options,” she said. “The new Title X regulations are a win-win for all Americans.”