A Federal Judge Just Blocked Trump’s Latest Attack on Abortion Rights

Goodbye “gag rule.”

President Donald Trump makes remarks during a meeting of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council on April 4, 2019.

President Donald Trump makes remarks during a meeting of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council on April 4, 2019Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

A federal judge in Washington has blocked President Trump’s attempt to bar health organizations that provide abortions—or even offer referrals for them—from receiving Title X federal family planning money. Judge Stanley Bastian issued a nationwide injunction on the rule, effective immediately.

The so-called gag rule, which was set to go into effect on May 3, would have stripped tens of millions of Title X federal family planning dollars from Planned Parenthood and other organizations. While the use of public funds to pay for abortions is already banned except in cases of life endangerment, rape, and incest, the new rule would have effectively “gagged” Title X health care providers by barring them from telling patients how to obtain abortions, and preventing organizations from performing abortions at the same facilities where they provide Title X services like mammograms, assistance for sexual assault survivors, and testing for sexually transmitted infections. 

In March, Washington state and a handful of reproductive rights and advocacy groups sued the Trump administration over the rule change. They argued that the gag rule interferes with patients’ rights to pregnancy counseling, creates obstacles to health care for low-income patients, and oversteps the Trump administration’s authority. In the past two weeks, federal judges in California and Oregon have also heard arguments against the new rule. During a preliminary hearing in Oregon on April 24, Judge Michael J. McShane suggested that he would block the rule, calling the restrictions a “ham-fisted approach to public health policy.” But he also indicated that he was reluctant to set “national health care’’ policy. In Washington, Judge Bastian had no such qualms.

Gov. Jay Inslee called the ruling “a major victory for millions of Americans.” Judge Bastian is expected to issue a written opinion early next week.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate