A federal judge in Oregon decided to block a decision by the Trump administration to withhold funding from clinics that perform abortions. The administration also wants to deny government funding to clinics that provide referrals to abortion providers as well as abortion counseling.
The new Title X rule from the Trump administration is scheduled to become effective in May. The law would stop all government funds that go to Planned Parenthood and clinics where abortions are performed. Planned Parenthood is a major target for the Trump administration due to the subsidies it provides for women who cannot afford abortions on their own. Planned Parenthood clinics offer other healthcare to women as well.
Critics of Title X say the law is simply an attempt by the president to pander to his base ahead of next year’s election. President Trump promised to defund Planned Parenthood while campaigning for office in 2016.
The lawsuit filed against Title X in Oregon named the plaintiffs as the American Medical Association and the Planned Parenthood Federation.
Michael McShane, United States District Judge, announced Tuesday he is issuing a temporary injunction against the restrictions the Trump Administration seeks to impose on Planned Parenthood and other clinics offering abortion services.
It is not clear when the ruling from McShane will be formalized or how much reach the ruling will possess.
The Justice Department stands in opposition to the injunction and made the request that the injunction only becomes applicable to case plaintiffs.
Congress approved $286 million in funding for Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics through Title X grants in 2017. The money approved by Congress is not to be used for abortions. However, critics say the money has provided subsidies for clinics like Planned Parenthood that perform the abortions.
Barbara McAneny, President of the American Medical Association, applauded Judge McShane for the stance he has taken. She says it is obvious the judge understands the issues and ‘got it right.’
Planned Parenthood Federation President, Leana Wen, praised the decision of McShane as a victory for both doctors and patients. Wen also reminded supporters that more work is ahead of them. She explains the current victory is temporary and the fight must continue.
Legal battles over the issue are looming in other states as well. Media reports state a Title X case pending in California is expected to garner national attention soon.