Minnesota Joins Lawsuit Challenging President Trump's Family-Planning Restrictions

Twenty-one Democratic-led states - including all three states that make up Delmarva - announced they were challenging the Trump administration's effort to set up obstacles for women seeking abortions, including barring taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers.

Planned Parenthood Federation of American and the American Medical Association also filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Eugene, Oregon. It claims the restrictions are illegal and unconstitutional.

Title X is the only federal grant program that provides monies for family planning programs that help individuals access contraception, breast and cervical cancer screenings, well-women exams, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and other related health services.

One provision of the Trump administration rule prohibits federally funded family planning clinics from being housed in the same place as abortion providers. "If this rule is implemented, it will be devastating to health care clinics which depend on Title X funds to serve countless families in every state". "This blatant violation of patients' rights under the Code of Medical Ethics is untenable".

California's attorney general said the new rule affects 4 million mostly low-income women nationwide and 1 million women in California. At issue is what is known as Title X funding.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the ruling "a war on reproductive rights" by the Trump administration. In addition to MI, other states joining the lawsuit are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services have declined comment on the lawsuits.

The AMA has engaged previously in cases involving physician/patient communications.

The new rule "blesses biased and incomplete pregnancy counseling where the interests of the patient are no longer paramount", the lawsuit said. The rule "will politicize the practice of medicine and the delivery of health care".

"Contrary to pro-abortion misinformation, the Protect Life Rule does not cut Title X funding by a single dime - it simply enforces the existing statute that draws a bright line of separation between abortion and family planning", she said.

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