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Federal judge blocks Trump ban on Title X abortion referrals

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April 25 (UPI) — A federal judge granted a nationwide preliminary injunction on Thursday, blocking a Trump administration ban on abortion clinic referrals.

U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Bastian issued the injunction, which prevents the so-called gag rule to the Title X family program from taking effect while other legal challenges to the ban move proceed.

Bastian ruled that the restrictions were likely violations of Title X and the Affordable Care Act and were “arbitrary and capricious” under the Administrative Procedure Act.

“It reverses long-standing positions of the Department without proper consideration of sound medical opinions and the economic and non-economic consequences,” he wrote.

Bastian added that the rule likely violates the central purpose of Title X, which is to equalize access to voluntary family planning.

“It requires all pregnant patients to receive referrals for prenatal care, regardless of whether the patient wants to continue the pregnancy and regardless of the best medical advice and treatment that might be recommended for that patient,” Bastian wrote.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee praised the ruling against the policy, which was set to take place on May 3, as a “major victory for millions of Americans.”

“Today, we are proud to be keeping women’s health care secure in all 50 states,” said Inslee. “We won’t stop fighting until this unconscionable policy is defeated for good.”

The state’s attorney general, Bob Ferguson, said the ruling ensures that clinics providing “quality, unbiased healthcare to women” can remain open throughout the country.

“Title X clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, provide essential services — now they can keep serving women while we continue to fight to keep the federal government out of the exam room,” said Ferguson.

Bastian’s ruling came two days after U.S. District Judge Michael McShane of Oregon said he would support an injunction against the gag rule which he called a “ham-fisted approach to public health policy.”

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