President Donald Trump’s effort to defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood is being challenged by 22 states in a series of lawsuits announced Monday.
The first lawsuit, filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, asks the U.S. District Court in San Francisco to block the new Title X rule before it goes into effect, the Washington Post reports. A second lawsuit, representing 21 states including Oregon, is expected Tuesday, according to The Hill.
Title X funds help low-income women and men receive birth control, cancer screenings and other health care services. While the tax money cannot be used to pay for abortions, it indirectly funds Planned Parenthood’s vast abortion business.
Last week, the Trump administration finalized a new Title X rule that requires health care entities to completely separate abortion from their taxpayer-funded services. Planned Parenthood, which receives about $60 million annually through the program, already has said it will not comply. Entities have 120 days to financially separate their family planning and abortion operations and one year to physically separate their family planning and abortion operations.
In the California lawsuit, Becerra argued that the rule violates a measure within the Affordable Care Act that prohibits “unreasonable barriers to the ability of individuals to obtain appropriate medical care.” About one fourth of all Title X recipients are in California, according to the report.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a fellow pro-abortion Democrat, also slammed the Trump administration on Monday ahead of her state’s lawsuit.
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“This is yet another attack from the Trump Administration on women and families, and it is appalling that the federal government wants to rob individuals of the right to complete medical information and full access to the critical health care services they rely on,” Brown said, Oregon Public Radio reports. “I will continue to fight back against this administration as they continue to undermine health care for those who need it most.”
The other states involved in the lawsuit are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan added to the attacks with claims that the rule will “deprive Vermonters of basic healthcare” and impose an abortion “gag” on health care providers.
Donovan’s claims echo those of Planned Parenthood. The abortion chain sees about 1.5 million a year through Title X, and its services through the program, including cancer screenings, birth control, etc., have been dropping steadily for years, according to its own annual reports. Meanwhile, its abortion numbers have been growing – a clear indication of its true focus.
It is Planned Parenthood that is choosing not to comply with the rule by making abortion its “core mission,” rather than real health care. The abortion chain could continue to receive Title X funds if it stops aborting unborn babies or if it completely separates its abortion business from the real health care services it provides. But Planned Parenthood made it clear that it will not.
Meanwhile, community health centers vastly outnumber Planned Parenthoods and provide far more comprehensive medical services to low-income and minority women across the country. They still have access to those funds, assuring that low-income individuals still will have a options for their medical needs.
What success the lawsuits will have remains uncertain. In 1991, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a similar rule from President Ronald Reagan’s administration in Rust v. Sullivan. However, because of the lengthy legal challenge, the rule never went into effect; pro-abortion President Bill Clinton eliminated the rule when he took office soon after the Supreme Court decision.