Oregon, and 19 other states – as well as the American Medical Association and Planned Parenthood, had filed a lawsuit challenging the new federal rules.
The proposed U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rules would have gone into effect on May 3, and would have affected low-income Americans who get services through Title X-funded programs such as testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections, as well as diseases like cervical cancer.
The proposed HHS rules would have required physical separation between Title X-funded programs and facilities in which abortions are performed. Referral for an abortion would have also been banned.
“At the heart of these rules is an arrogant assumption that the government is better suited to direct women’s health care than their providers,” U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane said in his ruling from the bench.
Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon President, Lisa Gardner told OPB that Planned Parenthood provides 41% of all Title X visits in Oregon. In 2017, that amounted to more than 37,000 visits
“It would’ve been an impossible burden for us to meet,” said Lisa Gardner, following McShane’s ruling. “The physical separation would’ve cost us … and we’re not willing to gag our health care providers.”
McShane expressed the belief the new rules would be inequitable.
“The final rule would create a class of women who don’t get care that’s consistent with medical standards,” he said. “The court does not disagree that the final rule is a ham-fisted approach to public health policy, one that emphasizes a political issue over Title X’s stated goal of reducing unintended pregnancies.”