Attorney General Becerra Leads Coalition of 20 Attorneys General Urging for a National Injunction to Protect Women’s Access to Family Planning
More than 4 million Americans rely on Title X funding, which is currently being threatened by the Trump-Pence Administration
LOS ANGELES – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a coalition of 19 states and the District of Columbia, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia supporting a nationwide preliminary injunction that would block a recent attempt by the Trump-Pence Administration to reduce access to Title X, the nation’s family planning program. Title X provides family planning services including birth control, and other critical preventive care to uninsured and under-insured patients. The new set of requirements put forward by the Trump-Pence Administration would jeopardize the lives and the health of millions of low-income women and families across the United States by threatening funding for birth control, sexually transmitted disease testing, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and infertility treatment. Over one million Californians benefit from the Title X program.
“All women, regardless of their zip code or economic background, deserve access to basic health services. Yet once again, the Trump-Pence Administration is taking our country backwards by making it harder for women to access healthcare,” said Attorney General Becerra. “These new requirements are illegal, lack transparency, and undermine the longstanding, bipartisan Title X family planning program that helps millions of Americans. While the President continues to take action to undermine access to healthcare, California will keep fighting to protect the health of all Americans.”
On February 23, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a new set of requirements that would strip away funding for women’s healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood, and instead provide funding for natural family planning methods and abstinence-only education. The new requirements threaten funding for comprehensive reproductive healthcare centers and instead favor facilities that do not provide women with fact-based information or comprehensive healthcare. These new requirements directly threaten the state of California, which has the largest Title X program in the nation.
“Time and time again, Attorney General Becerra steps up to protect healthcare, particularly for low-income women and their families. Today he is joining with Attorneys General from across the country in support of the four million people who rely on Title X every year for access to affordable birth control, cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and other life-saving services. We will not stop fighting for access to evidence-based reproductive health care for everyone, regardless of who they are, where they live, or how much money they make,” said from Chief Legal Counsel for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California Maggy Krell.
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, along with the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, are challenging the Trump-Pence Administration. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on May 2, 2018, these organizations argue that new funding requirements for Title X are in conflict with the underlying Title X statute and regulations. The plaintiffs also claim that the Administration has no clear basis for the policy change, and the resulting requirements are arbitrary and capricious. Lastly, they argue that the new criteria improperly change the nature of Title X funding. The current statute requires providers who receive Title X funding to provide patients with a range of family planning methods, yet the new requirements would emphasize only one set of family planning options (abstinence or natural family planning).
Joining Attorney General Becerra in filing today’s amicus brief are the Attorneys General of: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
Attorney General Becerra is committed to protecting Californians' access to affordable healthcare. Among other actions, he successfully defended affordable health coverage and stopped the Trump Administration from rolling back rules that aimed to deny women birth control. He also recently announced the formation of a Healthcare Strike Force within the California Department of Justice to monitor and defend against efforts to undermine the ACA, Medicare and Medicaid, and access to quality, affordable healthcare for all Californians.
A copy of the brief is attached to the electronic version of this release at oag.ca.gov/news.