KRWG

Brief to Protect New Mexico Women’s Access to Reproductive Health & Family Planning

May 15, 2018

Credit New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

Commentary: Albuquerque, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas joined a coalition of attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in support of a nationwide preliminary injunction that would block a recent attempt by the Trump-Pence Administration to reduce access to Title X, the nation’s family planning program. Title X provides family planning services including birth control, and other critical preventive care to uninsured and under-insured patients. The new set of requirements put forward by the Trump-Pence Administration would jeopardize the lives and the health of millions of low-income women and families across the United States by threatening funding for birth control, sexually transmitted disease testing, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and infertility treatment.

“President Trump and Vice President Pence have no business intruding in the reproductive health and family planning of New Mexico women,” said Attorney General Balderas. “I will continue to stand up to the President’s policies that harm New Mexico’s children and families.”

On February 23, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a new set of requirements that would strip away funding for women’s healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood, and instead provide funding for natural family planning methods and abstinence-only education. The new requirements threaten funding for comprehensive reproductive healthcare centers and instead favor facilities that do not provide women with fact-based information or comprehensive healthcare.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, along with the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, are challenging the Trump-Pence Administration. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on May 2, 2018, these organizations argue that new funding requirements for Title X are in conflict with the underlying Title X statute and regulations. The plaintiffs also claim that the Administration has no clear basis for the policy change, and the resulting requirements are arbitrary and capricious. Lastly, they argue that the new criteria improperly change the nature of Title X funding. The current statute requires providers who receive Title X funding to provide patients with a range of family planning methods, yet the new requirements would emphasize only one set of family planning options (abstinence or natural family planning).

Joining Attorney General Balderas in filing today’s motion are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.