Update: The U.S. District Court in Yakima has issued a nationwide injunction on President Trump's proposed changes to the Title X program. The injunction was issued by Judge Stanley Bastian in the case brought forward by Attorney General Bob Ferguson's office on behalf of Governor Inslee's Washington State Department of Health, and is effective immediately.
“This is a major victory for millions of Americans whose healthcare is at stake under President Trump’s dangerous and legally indefensible gag rule," Gov. Inslee said. "Washington has always been a state that stands with women and their right to safe and legal reproductive healthcare, and today we are proud to be keeping women’s health care secure in all 50 states. We won’t stop fighting until this unconscionable policy is defeated for good.”
“Today’s ruling ensures that clinics across the nation can remain open and continue to provide quality, unbiased healthcare to women,” Ferguson said. “Trump’s ‘gag rule’ would have jeopardized healthcare access to women across the country. Title X clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, provide essential services – now they can keep serving women while we continue to fight to keep the federal government out of the exam room.”
The U.S. District Court in Yakima today is hearing oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s proposed changes to the Title X program that would threaten access to healthcare for 81,000 Washingtonians and directly interfere in the ability of medical providers to serve their patients. The so-called “gag rule” would deny patients access to family planning clinics across the state and prohibit providers who receive funding through Title X – the nation’s largest family planning program – from sharing comprehensive and medically accurate information with their patients about all safe and legal reproductive care options.
“The president’s relentless assault on women’s health is being fought with the full force of the law here in Washington state,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “We will not allow this or any presidential administration to take women’s constitutional rights away, and we will not allow doctors and nurses to be silenced when it comes to giving patients the information and medical care they need.”
“Politics don’t belong in the exam room,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. “We are asking the court to stop the Trump Administration’s unlawful rule from going into effect while our legal challenge continues.”
The lawsuit was brought forward by the Attorney General’s office on behalf of Inslee's Washington State Department of Health. The Department of Health’s Family Planning Program, which combines state and federal funds, serves more than 93,000 clients and offers a wide range of reproductive health services to low-income women and men. If implemented, the gag rule would leave patients in 16 counties across Washington without a single Title X provider.
A U.S. District Judge in Oregon ruled Tuesday on a similar lawsuit. The judge said he will grant a preliminary injunction against the rule, which he described as a “ham-fisted approach to public health policy.” The injunction may not be nationwide and therefore would not apply in Washington.