Essential Access Health, Nation’s Largest Title X Grantee, Sues Trump Administration Today to Block Title X Regulations From Taking Effect

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2019

Contact: Amy Moy, amoy@essentialaccess.org, 415.518.4465

SAN FRANCISCO – Essential Access Health and the State of California filed lawsuits in federal court today to block implementation of the Trump administration’s new regulations for the Title X federal family planning program. If implemented, the regulations would devastate California’s Title X family planning program and reduce access to essential care for 1,000,000 low-income patients currently served by the program across the state each year.

“These regulations represent the most extreme policy changes in the history of the Title X program. The regulations overstep the administration’s authority, and undermine Title X’s mandate from Congress to make comprehensive family planning services available for all,” said Julie Rabinovitz, President and CEO of Essential Access Health, the Title X grantee for California. “As the leader of the largest Title X system in the nation - serving over 25 percent of Title X patients nationwide – we have an obligation to ensure that these harmful, unlawful, and unconstitutional regulations never see the light of day.”

Title X funding in California supports the delivery of essential health services including birth control, STD and pregnancy tests, and cancer screenings at over 360 health centers in 38 of California’s 58 counties.

Essential Access Health’s lawsuit includes co-plaintiff Dr. Melissa Marshall, a family medicine doctor practicing at a Title X-funded health center in Yolo County, California.

“My patients count on me to give them unbiased information about all of their options for care,” Dr. Marshall said. “These regulations would dictate a different standard of care for low-income women seeking reproductive health services, and in doing so, promote unethical medical practices. They encourage misinformation and violate the trust my patients have that I will provide them with the best care possible.”

Essential Access Health and Dr. Marshall are represented by a team at the law firm Keker, Van Nest & Peters, led by Michelle Ybarra.

Essential Access Health’s lawsuit was announced during a press conference in Sacramento with Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, and other leaders in the state legislature. The State of California is also suing the Trump administration to stop the regulations from taking effect.

“The Trump-Pence Administration has doubled down on its attacks on women’s health,” said Attorney General Becerra. “This illegal Title X rule denies patients access to critical healthcare services and prevents doctors from providing comprehensive and accurate information about medical care. The Trump-Pence Administration’s sabotage of Title X services that millions of women across our nation rely on is not only irresponsible, it is dangerous to women’s health. President Trump treats women and their care as if this were 1920, not 2019.”

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Essential Access Health champions and promotes quality sexual and reproductive health care for all. Essential Access achieves its mission through an umbrella of programs and services, including health center support initiatives, provider training, advanced clinical research, public policy and outreach, and awareness campaigns. As the administrator of the nation’s largest and most diverse Title X system in the country, Essential Access partners with a robust provider network that collectively serves over 1,000,000 low-income Californians each year at more than 360 health centers across the state.

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