CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Illinois and 20 other states are filing lawsuits seeking to block the Trump administration’s new rule to make it more difficult for women to get abortions.
Changes to the Title X family planning program would bar federally funded family planning clinics from referring women for abortions. It also would require physical and financial separation between family planning services and abortion services, which would effectively require Planned Parenthood to make considerable changes to its programs, or give up $60 million a year in federal funding.
The new rule is set to go into effect in May, unless blocked by a court.
Illinois, 20 other states and Washington, D.C. are filing federal lawsuits to block the new rule from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.
California filed the first lawsuit on Monday. Illinois, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin plan to sue separately on Tuesday.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the state of Washington also have said they plan to sue.
Planned Parenthood and other groups have said requiring federally funded family planning clinics from being housed in a separate physical facility from abortion providers would be too costly, and all but impossible to fulfill.
They also worry it will limit poor women’s access to non-abortion services they provide, such as cancer screenings and birth control, if Planned Parenthood must forego federal funding.
Supporters of the rule expect an increase in federal funding for faith-based family planning organizations that refuse to perform abortions.
The Health and Human Services Department has declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuits.
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