The nation's Democratic attorneys general have repeatedly challenged initiatives of the Trump administration, weighing in on everything from the president's immigration policy to efforts to fund a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border through an emergency declaration.
In addition to OR, the states participating in the lawsuit are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin. The changes to the federal family planning program are scheduled to go into effect in May unless blocked in court.
"Neither is a good or fair option for women and families who often have no other access to medical care", she said. The filings are the first of what is expected to be a flurry of challenges to the new rule that would affect more than 4 million low-income women who receive services ranging from cancer screenings to pregnancy tests through the Department of Health and Human Services program.
Called the "gag rule" by its opponents, a new requirement from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) limits health care providers' ability to educate their patients about abortion as an option.
Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia are suing the Trump administration over a new "gag rule" that could prevent family planning clinics that provide abortions or abortion referrals from receiving federal funds.
"Since it began in 1970, Title X has excluded elective abortions from its grant program, reflecting the commitment of the majority of Americans not to have their hard-earned tax dollars subsidize Planned Parenthood and other members of the abortion industry", she said in a statement Monday.
Rosenblum's office said that the new rule also mandates that every pregnant patient receive a referral for prenatal care, "regardless of the needs or the wishes of the patient".
"The Trump-Pence Administration has doubled down on its attacks on women's health", Becerra said in a statement.
The rule is designed primarily to target Planned Parenthood, the largest provider under the Title X family-planning program. "It is appalling that the federal government wants to rob individuals of the right to complete medical information and full access to the critical health care services they rely on". After the rule was released, Planned Parenthood said it "would be impossible" for it to continue participating in Title X adding that it put providers like Planned Parenthood in an "impossible position".
Becerra was joined at the Capitol on Monday in announcing the lawsuit by some 20 women lawmakers, including Senate leader Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Legislative Women's Caucus Chair Sen. Planned Parenthood's New Hampshire clinics expect to see a quarter of their collective budget vanish if the rule moves ahead: $1.6 million over two years, according to Sabrina Dunlap, vice president of public policy at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said women rely on family planning agencies affected by the rule for healthcare.