A judge who was appointed under former President Barack Obama has declared he will block a Trump administration effort to defund abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane slammed President Trump’s attempts to curtail the Title X program to ensure that no federal dollars provided — directly or indirectly — for abortive procedures.
Under the new rules, Title X grantees would no longer be required to issue “nondirective abortion counseling,” and would be prohibited from executing a direct referral for abortion.
Additionally, Title X regulations would also be amended to “clarify access to family planning services where an employer exercises a religious or moral objection.”
Judge McShane condemned Trump for making the changes, describing the president’s actions as a “ham-fisted approach to public health policy.”
Other pro-abortion campaigners believe that the additional restrictions amount to a “gag rule.”
“At the heart of these rules is an arrogant assumption that the government is better suited to direct women’s health care than their providers,” McShane added, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Oregon state Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum added that the Trump administration is attempting to “politicize” a “successful, nonpolitical public health program,” according to LifeSite News.
However, Department of Justice attorney Andrew M. Bernie insisted that “no irreparable” harm had been done by the Trump administration’s action, adding that Planned Parenthood is “not allowed to set the parameters for the Title X program.”
The abortion provider’s new president, Leana Wen, said her organization would “continue to fight” the Trump administration in ensuring that abortion services are widely available.
Wen tweeted about McShane’s ruling, calling it “a victory for patients and doctors in this country.”
“Because of this, our patients across the country can still access the life-saving healthcare they need through #TitleX — our nation’s only program for affordable birth control and reproductive healthcare,” she added.
For years, pro-life campaigners have insisted that the company should not receive any tax dollars. Planned Parenthood “is owed exactly ZERO of our taxpayer dollars,” tweeted LiveAction president, Lila Rose.
Currently, Planned Parenthood receives between $50 and $60 million from the Title X program.