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Attorneys General Fight Trump Administration About Family Planning Services

17 May 2018

Twenty attorneys general are challenging Trump administration rule changes they say will reduce access to family planning services. The filing warns that changes to the Title X funding scheme could impact 4 million low-income residents who use Planned Parenthood and others for services like sexually transmitted disease testing, pregnancy tests, birth control and breast cancer screenings.

In February the Department of Health and Human Services released guidelines that health care providers must meet in order to get a piece of the $286 million Title X funding included in the 2018-2019 federal budget. Over one million Californians benefit from the Title X program.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra is probably best known to California voters as the man who has sued the Trump administration more than 30 times, a feat he boasted about at a debate Tuesday ahead of next month's primary election for the attorney general race.

The lawsuits target proposed rule changes for about $260 million in family planning funds.

"It's hard to believe that in [2018] we're still having to fight to protect the rights of women to have access to the health care that they need", Becerra told reporters. The new requirements threaten funding for comprehensive reproductive healthcare centers and instead favor facilities that do not provide women with fact-based information or comprehensive healthcare. "The administration has made it clear that it intends to restrict, if not, eliminate access to reproductive healthcare", said Maggy Krell, chief legal counsel for Planned Parenthood affiliates of California. Approximately 51,000 patients received Title X services in 2017, and of them, approximately 89% of patients had an annual income of less than $29,700 and 65% were uninsured.

The states filed an amicus brief in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia supporting a lawsuit filed by multiple Planned Parenthood branches asking for a preliminary injunction. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on May 2, 2018, these organizations argue that new funding requirements for Title X are in conflict with the underlying Title X statute and regulations.

In addition to Mr. Becerra, the coalition includes attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Attorneys General Fight Trump Administration About Family Planning Services