Baltimore, the hometown of Planned Parenthood CEO Leana Wen, filed a lawsuit Friday against a new Trump administration rule that cuts funding to the abortion giant.
City officials argued that the rule would threaten health care for 16,000 patients by cutting Title X funding to city clinics by about $1.4 million, WBAL News Radio reports.
Title X grants fund family planning services for low-income individuals. In February, the Trump administration finalized a new rule that prohibits recipients from providing or promoting abortions.
The “Protect Life” rule requires Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to completely separate their abortion businesses from their taxpayer-funded services. That mean housing their family planning services in separate buildings with separate staff from their abortion businesses and a denial of funds if they fail to do so. Planned Parenthood leaders already have said they will not comply.
Baltimore joins several Planned Parenthood affiliates and pro-abortion state attorneys general in challenging the rule in a series of lawsuits.
City officials argued that the rule would hurt their residents’ access to health care.
“Safeguarding our citizens access to essential care is paramount. This is the Baltimore City government I am proud to lead,” Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young said in a statement about the lawsuit.
Dr. Letitia Dziraza, the city health commissioner who replaced Wen when she accepted the leadership role at Planned Parenthood, announced the lawsuit in one of her first acts as commissioner, according to the local news.
“An end to Title X funding would have a devastating impact on the residents served. As a Health Department, we cannot stand idly by as funding is being pulled. We will continue to pursue justice in this case on behalf of the residents of Baltimore City,” Dziraza said.
Wen visited Baltimore just a few days before the city announced the lawsuit, according to her Twitter feed.
Earlier this spring, she slammed the rule as “unethical, illegal, and dangerous.” Wen claims it will “gag” doctors by preventing them from sharing information about abortion with patients.
But the rule doesn’t require doctors or nurses to withhold information. It merely prevents Planned Parenthood from promoting abortion using taxpayer funds.
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.
Planned Parenthood is choosing not to comply with the rule by making abortion its “core mission.” 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 by 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.