March 24, 2019

Federal judge blocks Planned Parenthood abortions under Missouri physician hospital admittance requirement

01 March 2019, 03:39 | Silvia Roy

Trump's Abortion 'Gag Rule' Met With First Legal Challenge

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at a news conference announcing a lawsuit chal

Planned Parenthood Great Plains CEO Dr. Brandon Hill criticized the ruling and said it was the result of politicians ignoring medical facts.

Clinics that receive money under Title X, the 1970 law created to improve access to reproductive health care for communities around the nation, provide a wide array of services, including birth control and screening for diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases and cancer.

The U.S. bishops' pro-life committee chairman February 27 praised the Trump administration for finalizing its "Protect Life Rule" to prevent funds appropriated under the Title X Family Planning Program from being used in services that include abortion as a method of family planning or that make abortion referrals.

The rule "unlawfully inserts politics between patients and their doctors", the attorney general said.

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As part of the underlying Title X legislation, the public health service act clearly states, "None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning". Maine Family Planning, a leading women's health care provider in Maine, announced last week that it would seek an injunction to prevent the edict from going into effect.

Moore and more than 80 other pro-life leaders urged Azar in a May letter to issue a Title X rule like the one just announced by HHS.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but federal laws prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman. Now no Title X money can be used for abortions.

The judge's ruling came on the same day that the Trump administration implemented a new policy for federally funded family planning clinics.

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"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", he said.

St. Louis has the only clinic able to offer abortions in the state.

Wen said Planned Parenthood would not separate its abortion services from the rest of its services in order to comply with the rule, and further, wouldn't take federal funds under the new rule. According to the staff there, about 96 percent of the services the Bend clinic provides is preventative-including screenings and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, birth control, cancer screenings and annual well exams, as well as vasectomies and prenatal care. If patients ask for an abortion referral, staff would be required to give a list of primary care providers with no indication as to which provide abortions. It also eliminates a "requirement that Title X providers offer abortion counseling and referral". The Center for Reproductive Rights has said it will sue on behalf of family planning providers in Maine. "We won't withhold critical information from our patients".

Deborah Oyer, MD, medical director of the Cedar River Clinics in Seattle, said her clinic was planning to join the NFPRHA lawsuit when it is filed. Tong's office could not say if there were other state health centers that receive Title X money. "Politicians have no business telling me what I can talk to my patients about".

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