Virginia among 21 states preparing to sue federal government for Title X “Gag Rule”
The national lawsuit, which will be filed tomorrow in Oregon, seeks to halt the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to Title X that would freeze out healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood and limit the information and range of healthcare services that low-income Virginians may receive through the Title X program.
“Virginia women and families deserve access to medically-sound healthcare and family planning services, not a narrow range of ineffective services dictated by ideology,” Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said. “President Trump’s regulations will put women across Virginia at risk, freeze out trusted providers like Planned Parenthood, and cripple an important and successful program that served more than 50,000 Virginians in 2017.”
The rule relates to funding for Title X, the only federal grant program that funds family planning programs to help patient’s access contraception, cancer screenings, exams, and other related health services. Informally, opponents of the new rule are referring to it as a “gag rule” because it places an unlawful and unethical restriction on health care professionals and prohibits them in most instances from providing information or referrals for abortion services.
In 2017, more than 50,000 Virginians received care through the Title X program, 65% of whom were uninsured, and in 38% of Virginia localities the Title X provider is the only public healthcare provider. Attorney General Herring had previously promised to protect the Title X program from the Trump Administration’s proposed changed, and submitted official commentsopposing the proposed changes.
The coalition filing suit is led by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and New York Attorney General Letitia James and also includes the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.