Updated: April 25, 2019 / 6:14 PM
On Thursday, a federal judge in Washington state blocked federal enforcement of rules crafted by the Trump administration that could initially strip federal funding from health care providers who refers patients to have an abortion performed.
The ruling which was made by U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima, Washington, came two days after another federal judge in Portland, Oregon, indicated he would block at least some of the rule changes, which to take effect by May 3.
The suit challenged the changes brought against the Department of Health and Human Services by Bob Ferguson, the Washington state Attorney General, and abortion rights groups such as Planned Parenthood. Contenders of the rule changes described them as a “transparent attack on Planned Parenthood” and said they would “curb access to care such as contraception and breast and cervical cancer screening for millions of low-income people.”
“Today’s ruling ensures that clinics across the nation can remain open and continue to provide quality, unbiased healthcare to women,” Ferguson mentioned in a statement. “Trump’s ‘gag rule’ would have jeopardized healthcare access to women across 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.”
Opponents of abortions have argued the plan would not entirely ban abortion counseling but rather would ensure that taxpayer funding does not support clinics that also perform the procedure.