Attorney General Aaron Ford Joins Coalition of States Challenging New Title X Restrictions on Women’s Reproductive Health Care

March 5, 2019

Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford joined a coalition of 21 State Attorneys Generals in filing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a new rule Title X “Gag Rule” that will significantly restrict access to reproductive health services and information for women and families. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Eugene, Oregon and led by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and New York Attorney General Letitia James.

    The complaint is attached. Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the American Medical Association also filed a parallel lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court in Eugene, Oregon.

      The rule relates to funding for Title X, the only federal grant program that funds family planning programs to help patients access contraception, breast and cervical cancer screenings, well-woman exams, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and other related health services.

        "Patients rely on their doctors to give them honest and accurate health care information, and no one, especially not politicians, should interfere with that,” said Attorney General Aaron Ford. "This rule would prevent Nevadan women from receiving health care information from their doctor and put their health at risk. I am proud to join Attorneys General across the country to protect the millions of low-income and under-served families who rely on the Title X family planning program for access to a broad range of health services, and to keep politics out of the doctor's office."

          “This new rule puts the thousands of Nevadans who depend on Title X programs for health care in danger of receiving inaccurate or incomplete information about their health," added Governor Steve Sisolak. “As governor, I am committed to adequately funding women’s health care, and my administration will continue to fight the federal government’s misguided attempts to curtail access to accurate information and options about available health care for Nevada’s women and men.”

            The lawsuit filed today alleges that the Title X rule, if implemented, would reduce access and erode the quality of reproductive health care that Title X was originally intended to provide care for low income individuals. The new rule would also interfere with the health care provider and patient relationship, by limiting what a doctor can say to a patient.

              Under the new rule issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, providers in any clinic that receives Title X funding will be barred from referring a patient for an abortion (even if she requests that information), and in many circumstances even discussing an abortion with a patient. The new rule also mandates a referral for prenatal care for every pregnant patient, regardless of the needs or the wishes of the patient.

                In addition to Nevada, the following states have joined Oregon in the lawsuit: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.