Federal Judge Issues Nationwide Preliminary Injunction Against Trump Administration Title X Rule

Late yesterday, a U.S. District Judge in the Eastern District of Washington State issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the Trump Administration’s overhaul of the Title X family planning program, temporarily blocking the new rule that was set to take effect next Friday. Recall, the Trump Administration issued a final rule in March which would prohibit Title X providers from referring patients to certain reproductive health services and limit sites that are eligible to receive Title X funds. The rule further specified that clinics that refer patients to other facilities for abortion services would no longer qualify for Title X funds to provide low-income women with comprehensive family planning and preventive services.

U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian, in issuing the injunction, indicated, “There is no public interest in perpetuating unlawful agency action.” The preliminary injunction goes into place while several other lawsuits against the Trump Administration’s final rule move forward, including one in California. A federal judge in Oregon also indicated earlier this week that he plans to issue an injunction on a similar but separate suit brought by 20 states and the District of Columbia. While U.S. District Judge Michael McShane of Oregon has yet to reveal the scope of his injunction ruling, he described the Trump Administration’s rule as a “ham-fisted approach to public health policy.”

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) had not yet responded to the issuance of the injunction out of the state of Washington. Given the other multiple pending legal actions against the Trump Administration’s Title X rule, additional developments on the matter are expected over the coming weeks.