Attorney General Rosenblum Requests Meeting with Federal Government on Family Planning Program

February 7, 2019
• Posted in

Leading a coalition of 13 state Attorneys General, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is requesting a meeting with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to discuss anticipated rule changes to Title X, the only federal program that helps states like Oregon fund family planning and health-related services. The letter can be found here.

As early as next week, HHS may issue rules that will limit what doctors and medical professionals who work in hospitals and community health centers that receive federal Title X funds can tell patients about family planning services. Informally called a “gag rule”, this rule will place an unlawful ‘gag’ on health care professionals and significantly limit how Title X family planning program can operate. In 2017, Oregon clinics who received Title X funding served over 37,000 Oregonians, including many in rural communities.

“If the Trump administration makes this change to the Title X program there will be real harm for clinics that serve thousands of Oregonians for basic health services. Doctors and other health care professionals must be able to have candid conversations with their patients, without the fear that the federal government will take away basic funding for their clinic. We hope that the federal government will meet with us to hear more about our concerns,” said Attorney General Rosenblum.

In the letter, the Attorneys General write: “The regulation, if finalized, severely undermines the Title X family planning program, restricting access to affordable, lifesaving reproductive healthcare. Such far-reaching changes would lead to increased unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and disease (STI/STD), risks for HIV and cancer, and other negative public health impacts in every state across the country. We request a meeting to discuss this regulation and urge you to withdraw the regulation.”

In addition to Oregon, the letter was signed by California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) is led by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and serves as the state’s law firm. The Oregon DOJ advocates for and protects all Oregonians, especially the most vulnerable, such as children and seniors.