Judge sides with Trump admin in Planned Parenthood suit over changes to federal funding

Judge sides with Trump admin in Planned Parenthood suit over changes to federal funding
© Getty

A federal judge ruled in favor of the Trump administration — and against Planned Parenthood — in a lawsuit over changes to a government-funded family planning program. 

Planned Parenthood sought to have the changes thrown out, arguing they are unlawful because the administration did not go through a formal rulemaking process, which requires a public notice and comment period, when it altered the program.

ADVERTISEMENT

U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden, who was nominated by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE last year, ruled Monday evening that courts cannot require an agency to go through a formal rulemaking process for a change in procedure.

Planned Parenthood framed the decision as a ruling "against the four million people who rely on" the Title X program, which funds grants for organizations providing reproductive health services for low-income women and men.

The administration in February announced new requirements for Title X grants that would Planned Parenthood argues favors organizations that emphasize abstinence and natural family planning.

Planned Parenthood and the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association sued, arguing the changes were too substantive to implement without a public notice and comment period.

The groups argued that the changes would dramatically shift the focus of the program and the organizations that receive the funding.

Planned Parenthood serves 40 percent of Title X patients. The organization argues that the new requirements put it at a disadvantage for receiving funding.

Planned Parenthood also argued the new requirements go against federal law because they put a greater emphasis on natural family planning instead of access to forms of contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

While McFadden didn't rule on the merits of the case, he said the administration's changes still align with federal law.

"The Trump-Pence administration is trying to impose its ideology on people -- no matter how many it hurts," Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said in a statement. "They are trying to tell women what kind of birth control to use, they are trying to keep people from getting comprehensive reproductive health care and from going to Planned Parenthood health centers. We will never stop fighting for people’s health and rights. No matter what.”