Dem governors threaten lawsuit if Trump defunds Planned Parenthood

Dem governors threaten lawsuit if Trump defunds Planned Parenthood
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The nation's 14 Democratic governors are threatening to sue the Trump administration if it follows through on a proposal that would partially defund Planned Parenthood. 

"If this reckless policy is finalized as written, we will have no choice but to explore all possible avenues, including legal options, to block it from harming the women in our states," the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. 

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The Trump administration last week released a draft regulation that would reform the Title X grant program, which funds organizations providing reproductive health services to low-income women and men. 

Under the changes, organizations that perform or refer women for abortions would be ineligible for funding, although federal funding is already banned from being used for the procedure. 

Anti-abortion groups that pushed for the changes say its geared at partially defunding Planned Parenthood, which receives millions of dollars every year through Title X. 

But Democrats say such restrictions would prevent women from getting full and accurate information about their health care. 

"We stand with women and men in our states by rejecting this Administration’s efforts to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, gut women’s access to family planning services, and force medical professionals to knowingly withhold information from their patients," the governors wrote, led by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who chairs the DGA.

"If the federal government breaks its commitment to states in the Title X program, we will react in kind and do what is necessary to protect the health of our constituents. We call on all Americans to actively and aggressively oppose this proposed action."

The $286 million doled out each year under Title X funds organizations in every state that provide services like birth control and STD testing to people with low incomes who often lack insurance. 

Planned Parenthood and the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, a member organization representing Title X grantees, have both said they would consider legal action if the regulations go in effect.