Monday, April 29, 2019

Trump abortion 'gag' rule blocked by federal judge

April 25 (Washington Post): Trump abortion 'gag' rule blocked by federal judge, by Fred Barbash:

Last Thursday, a district court judge in Washington state issued a nationwide injunction preventing a new Health and Human Services Administration regulation from going into effect. 

Groups receiving money under the Title X program, about $286 million annually, already were prohibited from performing abortions with those funds. But under the new rule, they could no longer refer a patient for an abortion and would also have to maintain a “clear physical and financial separation” between services funded by the government and abortion services or referrals.

In issuing the injunction, the judge found that the regulations violated Title X and the Affordable Care Act and were arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act.  He also found that the change in the regulations “likely violates the central purpose of Title X, which is to equalize access to comprehensive, evidence-based, and voluntary family planning.”

In a particularly scathing passage [he] wrote that the rule probably "creates unreasonable barriers for patients to obtain appropriate medical care; impedes timely access to health care services; interferes with communications regarding a full range of treatment options between the patient and their health care provider, restricts the ability of health care providers to provide full disclosure of all relevant information to patients” and “violates the principles of informed consent and the ethical standards of health care professions."

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