Oregon to Sue Trump Over Family Planning Gag Order

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced she will file suit to stop a Trump Administration family planning gag rule it issued on Friday, February 22. The new rule would affect medical providers receiving federal funds through a state program.

Under the new Federal Department of Health and Human Services rule, organizations that provides or refer patients for abortions are ineligible for Title X funding to cover STD prevention, cancer screenings and contraception. Federal funding for abortion is already illegal, with few exceptions.

Here is text from the press release issued by Roseblum’s office on Friday:

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced she will be filing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration for a new rule issued today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the Title X program. Informally called a “gag rule”, these newly issued rules will place an unlawful “gag” on health care professionals and significantly limit how the Title X family planning program can operate. Providers who work in health care clinics that receive federal Title X funds will be essentially prohibited from counseling, referring or providing any information about abortion services to their patients.

Title X is the only federal program that helps states fund family planning and health-related services. In 2017, Oregon clinics who received Title X funding served over 37,000 Oregonians, including many in rural communities. Earlier this month,13 state Attorneys General requested a meeting with the federal government to discuss the anticipated rule change, and how it would impact Oregon and other states.

Statement from Attorney General Rosenblum:

“This rule is a direct assault on our core Oregon values; it is wrong and illegal and leaves our state with no choice but to file a lawsuit in the coming weeks to prevent it from going into effect. Medical providers, no matter what kind of service they perform, must be able to have candid conversations with patients about all options for care, and without fear that if they say the word “abortion” their clinic could lose federal funds. This rule, if implemented, will mean that health clinics that serve so many Oregon women and families around our state may have to close. This is not acceptable, and I will do everything I can to prevent this from happening.”

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) is led by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and serves as the state’s law firm. The Oregon DOJ advocates for and protects all Oregonians, especially the most vulnerable, such as children and seniors.