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TOMORROW AT 10 AM: Planned Parenthood, NFPRHA, ACLU Scheduled to Appear in Court to Fight the Trump Administration’s Unlawful Changes to Nation’s Family Planning Program

“Planned Parenthood Wisconsin v. Azar” Oral Argument at US District Court in D.C.

WASHINGTON D.C. -- A federal district court in the District of Columbia will hear arguments tomorrow in a case brought by the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) and three Planned Parenthood affiliates, challenging the Trump Pence Administration’s 2018 funding opportunity announcement for the Title X family planning program, the nation’s only dedicated federal funding for family planning. (NFPRHA is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, while the three Planned Parenthood affiliates are represented by WilmerHale and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.)

The funding announcement attempts to make fundamental changes to the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care upon which 4 million people rely for health care each year.  For example, the announcement removes all references to contraception and clinical standards for care and instead prioritizes providing funding to entities that, among other things, emphasize abstinence-only until marriage counseling for adults. 

WHAT: Planned Parenthood Wisconsin v. Azar Oral Arguments

WHEN: THURSDAY, JUNE 21 at 10 a.m. ET

WHERE: US District Court, Courtroom Number 2, 333 Constitution Avenue NW (at 3rd St. NW)

Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“The Trump-Pence administration can’t just ignore the law.  Not only is what they’re trying to do illegal, but it would have devastating consequences for patients and could threaten health care for millions of people. At the expense of people’s health, the Trump-Pence administration is trying to impose its ideology on people. They are trying to tell women what kind of birth control to use and trying to push people toward abstinence or pressure them into marriage instead of helping them get quality health care. That is why Planned Parenthood is fighting in court to protect people’s health and rights.”

Statement from Clare Coleman, President & CEO, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association:

“This administration wants to undermine the core mission of the Title X program and instead shift to a narrow and ideological vision of how people should live their lives. These new directives are disrespectful of patients’ health needs and fail to meet the government’s own standards. Diverting funding away from the existing network of family planning providers will diminish access to high-quality family planning and sexual health care and drive up unintended pregnancy and abortion rates and STD incidence.”

Statement from Ruth Harlow, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project:

“For nearly 50 years, the Title X family planning program has helped millions of people get the contraception, counseling, and health information they need from qualified medical experts. Now, the Trump administration is trying to cut out organizations that help low-income people obtain effective methods of contraception and instead fund groups that preach abstinence outside of marriage.  We won’t sit back while the administration tries to dismantle this long standing, bipartisan, and successful program just to score political points.”

In an action separate from the 2018 Title X FOA, the Trump Pence administration later proposed a gag rule that would make it illegal for doctors, nurses, hospitals, community health centers, and any other provider in the Title X program to tell patients how they can safely and legally access abortion, and would impose new rules designed to make it impossible for millions of patients to get birth control and preventive care at some reproductive care providers, including Planned Parenthood health centers. Major medical associations, like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and others oppose this rule. The American Medical Association stated that they are “particularly alarmed,” by Trump’s domestic gag rule and the American Nurses Association declared that it “violates basic ethics of the [nursing] profession.”