In February, Trump’s HHS created a new rule to Title X that would bar federal funding to family planning clinics that either perform abortions or refer patients to other abortion facilities.
The new rule would have amounted to a significant defunding of Planned Parenthood, to the tune of about 50-60 million dollars per year, and redirected that money towards anti-abortion, faith-based providers.
But a federal judge in Oregon – Obama appointee – has said he will soon block the new rule before it goes into effect in May:
OREGON LIVE – U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane late Tuesday said he’ll grant a preliminary injunction against new federal restrictions that bar taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers, calling the rule a “ham-fisted approach to public health policy.”
McShane said the so-called “gag rule” — barring physicians from referring patients who don’t want to continue their pregnancies to an abortion provider — prevents doctors from behaving like medical professionals.
The judge also found that it would create a class of low-income women who couldn’t receive a full range of medical care options, foster a “geographic vacuum” in reproductive health care clinics and likely an increase in abortions due to more unwanted pregnancies.
He said the rule, which is set to go into effect May 3, represents an “arrogant assumption” that government is better suited to direct health care instead of providers.
The judge said he’d also grant a preliminary injunction to stop another change — the so-called “separation” rule prohibiting federally funded family planning clinics from being housed in the same place as abortion providers.
There may a silver lining to this soon-to-be written injunction.
The judge suggests he’s not going to issue a national injunction, so it may only affect Oregon or the 20 states involved in the lawsuit:
Oregon is one of 20 states and the District of Columbia that challenged the Trump administration’s changes to the Title X family planning program in U.S. District Court in Oregon, along with Planned Parenthood affiliates and the American Medical Association.
They sought a national injunction. But the judge said he’s reluctant to set “national health care’’ policy and would describe the scope of his injunction in a formal written opinion soon. The U.S. Justice Department urged any injunction apply only to the plaintiffs in this case, noting at least four similar suits pending in other states.
This really isn’t a big surprise.
Federal judges love to make a name for themselves blocking anything from the Trump administration. Seriously, anything.
But like everything else this will go to the Supreme Court where they will rule that the Trump rule is constitutional, etc.
As an aside, this is the same judge who legalized same-sex marriage in Oregon by striking down their same-sex marriage ban in 2014. He’s also openly gay.