James applauds Biden’s efforts to end Title X ‘gag rule’

New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a news conference in New York, U.S., June 11, 2019.
REUTERS / Mike Segar, file

New York Attorney General, Letitia James on Wednesday applauded the Biden administration’s efforts to end the Trump administration’s discriminatory Title X “gag rule,” after the US Department of Health and Human Services proposed a new rule to revise the Title X family planning program regulations.

In March 2019, James co-led a coalition of 22 attorneys general in challenging the Trump administration regulation that threatens essential services provided under federal Title X funding.

The Trump-era rule restricts health care providers who receive certain federal funds from counseling or making referrals for abortion.

“This new, proposed rule from the Biden-Harris administration underscores their commitment to protecting reproductive rights of patients across the nation,” James said. “Quite simply, the Trump administration’s Title X ‘gag rule’ was a war on reproductive freedom and prevented more than 1 million people across the country from obtaining access to quality, affordable health coverage.

“And as we continue to battle COVID-19, access to health care has never been more vital,” she added. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Biden-Harris administration to undo all the harms of the gag rule and expand health coverage for all.”

James’s lawsuit eventually landed in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which upheld the Trump-era rule.

The New York Attorney then led the coalition, in October 2020, in filing a petition that asked the US Supreme Court to hear the case.

Separately, in May 2020, James led another coalition of 19 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in a different lawsuit, brought by the city of Baltimore, against the Trump administration’s Title X rule.

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit struck down the rule, and the Trump administration filed its own petition asking the Supreme Court to hear the case.

In March 2021, the coalitions in both cases joined with the Biden administration to ask the Supreme Court to dismiss both cases, while the current administration acts to rescind and replace the rule.

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