"This administration flouts the rule of law, and flouts it over and over again".
The couple, Bianca Coons and Cristobal Ruiz, filed suit in a New Mexico district court last week, and said they feared they could not afford to raise an additional child because they were living in "extreme poverty" at the time of the botched abortion.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule Friday that will deny Title X funding to family planning programs that offer abortion services.
On Friday, the Trump administration released a final draft of rules for the Title X program, which supports birth control, cancer screenings and other medical needs for some 4 million low-income women and families nationwide, including almost 100,000 in the Garden State. "Without abortion, there would be no Planned Parenthood because, according to their own president, it is their 'core mission'". Wimes wrote that requiring women to drive farther to obtain an abortion also was not an "undue burden". Women's health advocates, including Planned Parenthood, argue that changing that provision, as the Trump administration wants to, would hamper physicians and other providers from giving women unbiased advice, which they say is a violation of medical ethics.
Across Washington state in 2017, 14,000 patients received federally funded services at 85 of the clinics, many of them operated by Planned Parenthood.
Under the program, which serves about 4 million women annually, two-thirds of whom have incomes at or below the federal poverty level.
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The rule is expected to be submitted to the Federal Register in the coming weeks, and will take effect 60 days later.
"This rule intentionally strikes at the heart of the patient-provider relationship, inserting political ideology into a family planning visit, which will frustrate providers and discourage patients from seeking the health care they need", Clare Coleman, president and CEO of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, said in a statement. "President Trump's Title X rule is unacceptable and unlawful", Ferguson said at a press conference.
In 2010, the Affordable Care Act added to that, with language that, among other things, bars HHS from issuing any regulation that "interferes with communications regarding a full range of treatment options between the patient and the provider" or that "restricts the ability of health care providers to provide full disclosure of all relevant information to patients making health care decisions".
It specifically prohibits "referral for abortion as a method of family planning", but does not bar "non-directive counseling on abortion".
Leah Litman, an assistant professor of law at the University of California, Irvine, said the now more conservative Supreme Court might not necessarily accept those arguments, as well as others likely to be raised. Clinics that receive grants under Title X provide a wide array of services, including birth control, pregnancy diagnosis and counseling, and screening for diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, and cancer.
However, several things have changed since that case was decided, Ferguson said, including new statutes passed by Congress that impose new requirements on the Title X program.