Federal Judge Overrules Trump’s Abortion Rule, Issues Nationwide Injunction

A federal judge in Oregon just overruled Trump and his administration’s new abortion rules, but unlike most other cases, he issued a nationwide injunction.

This is a big step for a judge to go nuclear like this as most do not make their injunctions national and let the court system work.

But Trump has been fighting the establishment and winning for so long that they are relying on the courts to stop him and he is seeing more and more of these once rare tools.

It is a failed strategy because most of these decisions are based on procedural errors by Trump’s team, as with the first Muslim ban – seeking to limit the president on policy matters is always a loser.

From Axios: A federal judge in Oregon on Monday issued a national injunction sought by 20 states and the District of Columbia against the Trump’s administration’s so-called “gag rule”, calling the measure seeking to cut off federal funding for providers that offer abortions or abortion referrals “madness.”

 Details: The Title X overhaul rule, which is also being challenged by Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Association, would have taken effect on May 3.

But in striking down the policy, U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane wrote that it is “a solution in search of a problem.” This is the second injunction against the measure after a federal judge in Washington state blocked it on Friday.

 “At worst, it is a ham-fisted approach to health policy that recklessly disregards the health outcomes of women, families, and communities.

In the guise of ‘program integrity,’ the Gag Rule prevents doctors from behaving like informed professionals. It prevents counselors from providing comprehensive counseling. It prevents low-income women from making an informed and independent medical decision. … This is madness.”

This happened as well last Friday. From AP News:

A U.S. judge in Washington state Thursday blocked new Trump administration rules that would provide additional hurdles for women seeking abortions, including by banning taxpayer-funded clinics from making abortion referrals.

Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima granted the preliminary injunction in cases brought by the state and abortion rights groups, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. The new rules were due to take effect May 3.

“Today’s ruling ensures that clinics across the nation can remain open and continue to provide quality, unbiased healthcare to women,” Ferguson, a Democrat, said in an emailed statement.

The ruling came two days after a federal judge in Oregon, hearing a separate challenge by 20 states, said he intended to at least partially block the rules. That judge, Michael McShane, suggested he was reluctant to issue a nationwide injunction, but said the administration’s new policy was motivated by “an arrogant assumption that the government is better suited to direct women’s health care than their providers.”

Title X is a 1970 law designed to improve access to family planning services, especially for low-income women and those in rural areas, but abortion opponents and religious conservatives say it has long been used to indirectly subsidize abortion providers.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but federal laws prohibit the use of Title X or other taxpayer funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman.

Clinics that receive money under Title X provide a wide array of services, including birth control and screening for diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases and cancer. The program serves 4 million patients, about 1.6 million of whom obtain services through Planned Parenthood.

In addition to banning abortion referrals by taxpayer-funded clinics, the changes would prohibit clinics that receive federal money from sharing office space with abortion providers — a rule critics said would force many to find new locations, undergo expensive remodels or shut down.

“All over the country, there are Title X providers looking at their patient schedules and wondering what they were going to do,” said Clare Coleman, president of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, which sued. “Now we know that everyone can continue to do their care as they have been doing for the past 50 years.”

The judge made his ruling from the bench and issued a written opinion later Thursday.

“Plaintiffs have demonstrated the Final Rule likely violates the central purpose of Title X, which is to equalize access to comprehensive, evidence-based, and voluntary family planning,” Bastian wrote.

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