TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal has joined a multi-state coalition of Attorneys General in opposing the Trump Administration’s proposal to restrict access to healthcare by imposing unconstitutional restrictions on the Title X program. The Title X program provides critical preventive and life-saving care, including reproductive healthcare, to four million women nationally.
Acting Governor Sheila Oliver welcomed the Attorney General’s action.
“All patients in New Jersey and across the nation deserve access to quality medical care, including access to reproductive health care and family planning services,” said Acting Governor Oliver. “The Trump Administration’s gag rule will undermine medical professionals and their ability to provide the best care possible and intrudes upon the relationship between patient and provider. Governor Murphy and I are proud to stand with Attorney General Grewal, the New Jersey Department of Health, Planned Parenthood, medical professionals, and other governors to demand the federal government rescind this harmful policy. The Trump Administration’s irresponsible decision to jeopardize women’s health care by restricting services and information available to Title X clients, many of whom are low-income and uninsured, has given our Administration no choice but to explore all avenues and legal options to prevent this disastrous rule from taking effect.”
“If the federal government won’t stand up for low-income women and families, then we will,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Title X provides women with basic primary and preventative healthcare services, and it’s sickening that the Trump Administration is once again attempting to weaponize federal dollars to advance an ideological agenda.”
On May 22, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a proposed rule that would place several harmful restrictions on the Title X program.
Specifically, the new Rule seeks to create barriers to women’s healthcare by:
- Prohibiting doctors from discussing comprehensive healthcare options, including abortion, with patients;
- Requiring physical and financial separation between any Title X program and any facility that provides abortion: the provider must have, at a minimum, separate examination and waiting rooms, office entrances and exits, phone numbers, email addresses, educational services, websites, personnel, electronic or paper-based health care records, and workstations;
- Undermining the standard of care by allowing Title X providers to refuse medically-approved contraceptive methods in favor of less effective methods like abstinence-only.
In a multi-state comments letter joined by Attorney General Grewal, the participating Attorneys General argue that the proposed rule does not take into account costs to women, healthcare providers, and States. The rule’s restrictions would likely cause the closure of federally-funded family planning clinics and limit healthcare options for women. And the financial costs of care would be shifted from the federal government to states as they fill in the gaps left by the reduction in Title X providers.
New Jersey received a total of $8.8 million in Title X funding in 2017. Nine Title X sub-grantees operate a total of 48 clinics in New Jersey, and in 2017 provided treatment and services to 89,975 women. Seventy-two percent of those women received services at clinics that provide abortions outside of the Title X program. If the proposed rule forced those clinics to close, more than 65,000 women would be harmed.
Attorney General Grewal and the other Attorneys General argue that the proposed Rule is unconstitutional because it censors speech and violates a women’s constitutional right to make her own reproductive health decisions.
Joining Attorney General Grewal in the comment letter opposing the Administration’s proposed rule on Monday were Attorneys General for lead state California, as well as Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.
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