Washington state to sue Trump administration over rule targeting Planned Parenthood

Washington state to sue Trump administration over rule targeting Planned Parenthood
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Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Monday that he plans to sue the Trump administration over new rules cutting off federal family planning funds from abortion providers.

Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington who is considering a presidential run, gave his backing to the move, calling the new rules an attack on women’s rights.

“We stand united with Attorney General Ferguson and our state and legislative leaders against this blatant assault on women’s health,” Inslee said in a statement. “Washington has been, and will continue to be, a state that stands with women and their right to safe and legal abortion and reproductive care. We will never allow President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens MORE or anyone else in D.C. to take those rights away.”

The rules announced by the Trump administration on Friday would cut off federal family planning funds under the Title X program from clinics that provide abortions or that refer patients for abortions, a way of partially defunding Planned Parenthood.

Democrats are pushing back on the Trump administration’s move, and Washington is expected to be joined by other blue states, such as California, in suing to stop the changes.

“The Trump-Pence Administration has yet again shown its deliberate disregard for women’s reproductive freedom and the rule of law,” California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Energy: Trump moves forward with rule on California drilling | House panel advances bill that resumes participation in Paris climate fund | Perry pressed on 'environmental justice' | 2020 Dem proposes climate corps Trump administration moves forward with final rule to allow new California drilling Overnight Energy: Interior chief says climate response falls on Congress | Bernhardt insists officials will complete offshore drilling plans | Judge rules EPA must enforce Obama landfill pollution rules MORE said on Friday.

Ferguson’s office argued in a press release that the new rule violates a law requiring that pregnancy counseling under Title X does not push patients towards or away from certain options.

Ferguson said that the rule would leave 17 of Washington’s 39 counties without a Title X-funded provider, because that provider currently also performs abortions and would be cut off from funds under the new rule.