Planned Parenthood sues Trump officials over changes to family planning program

Planned Parenthood sues Trump officials over changes to family planning program
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Planned Parenthood sued the Trump administration on Wednesday as it seeks to block conservative changes to the family planning grant program known as Title X.

Planned Parenthood argues that the administration is violating the purpose of the law setting up the family planning program — providing contraception — and in favor of promoting a conservative-backed focus on abstinence until marriage.

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Dr. Gillian Dean, senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood, said the administration is “trying to push people toward abstinence or pressure women into marriage — instead of helping them get quality health care.”

Ruth Harlow, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed its own lawsuit Wednesday, added that the administration is “trying to sneak through major change in Title X in the fine print of a grant announcement.”

The lawsuit concerns new criteria for receiving funds under the Title X program that the Trump administration put out in February. The criteria put a new emphasis on abstinence rather than the contraception that Planned Parenthood argues is the intent of the program.

“Our bodies are our own and shouldn’t be at the mercy of the Trump-Pence administration. We are going to court to fight for our patients’ health and rights — and for the millions of people in this country who need to access quality reproductive health care,” said Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens.

Separately, the Title X program is also at the center of rumors that the administration could soon take the further step of seeking to cut Planned Parenthood off from funds entirely, something that anti-abortion groups called for in a letter to the administration on Tuesday.