Yesterday, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) filed suit in federal court to block the Trump administration’s Title X “domestic gag rule,” which places serious limitations on abortion providers and referring doctors. This filing follows on the heels of parallel action from a coalition of 21 attorneys general led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. The suit names Alex Azar, current secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and alleges, “The Final Rule would impose burdensome and unnecessary restrictions that would reduce access to care, interfere with the patient-provider relationship, and undermine Congress’s intent in enacting Title X of the Public Health Service Act nearly five decades ago.”
Joining Oregon and New York in the lawsuit are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.
As Rewire.News explained last month after the final version of the gag rule was announced:
The gag rule would ban Title X family planning providers from making referrals for abortion services and require providers to physically separate their Title X practices from their abortion services. Physical separation could mean everything from building new entrances and exits, to opening completely new facilities and hiring more staff.
Calling the gag rule “unconscionable and unethical” in a statement following the administration’s February 22 announcement, PPFA president Leana Wen called reproductive health care a “basic human right.”
“This rule compromises the oath that I took to serve patients and help them with making the best decision for their own health,” said Wen. “Patients expect their doctors to speak honestly with them, to…