Press Release

Nation’s Largest Title X Grantee Presents Oral Arguments in Federal Court to Block Trump Administration’s Unlawful Title X Regulations

Preliminary injunction hearing will begin Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 12:30 PM PST at Phillip Burton Federal Building

Contact: Amy Moy, 415.518.4465


Oral arguments will be heard in the motion for a preliminary injunction in Essential Access Health v. Azar, a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s sweeping changes to the federal Title X family planning program. These will be the first oral arguments heard in the nation to challenge new Title X regulations published in the federal register on March 4. Essential Access Health, the leader of California’s Title X program – the largest and most diverse Title X system in the country – and co-plaintiff, Dr. Melissa Marshall, are asking District Court Judge Edward Chen of the Northern District of California to issue a preliminary injunction to block the regulations from taking effect on the grounds that they are unconstitutional, violate current law, and will inflict irreparable harm on Title X patients throughout the nation. The State of California will also present oral arguments in their related legal challenge. The regulations are scheduled to take effect on May 3, 2019.


Phillip Burton Federal Building + Courthouse
450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco


12:30 PM, Thursday, April 18, 2019


Essential Access Health President + CEO, Julie Rabinovitz, Dr. Marshall, and representatives from Keker, Van Nest & Peters, the firm representing the Plaintiffs, will be available for comment immediately following the hearing.


Essential Access Health leads the largest and most comprehensive Title X system in the nation and has been a Title X grantee for the state of California since the program was established in 1970. Dr. Marshall is a family medicine physician practicing at a Title X-funded health center in Yolo County, California.

Essential Access Health distributes Title X funding in California to support the delivery of essential health services including birth control, STD and pregnancy tests, and cancer screenings. Essential Access Health’s current Title X provider network includes 355 health centers in 38 of California’s 58 counties that collectively serve 1,000,000 low-income patients each year. One in four of all Title X patients served nationwide is served at a Title X-funded health center in California.

Michelle Ybarra and Justina Sessions of Keker, Van Nest, & Peters, will present oral arguments on the Plaintiff’s behalf. The motion for preliminary injunction can be found here.


“It’s outrageous that the federal government is attempting to deny low-income patients the services and information they need to make personal decisions about their health,” said Julie Rabinovitz, President and CEO of Essential Access Health. “The harmful and unlawful regulations threaten decades of public health advancements and undermine Title X’s mandate to provide access to comprehensive family planning services for all.”

“The Trump regulations would force me to mislead and misinform my patients with government sanctioned speech that disregards their individual needs, and puts their health at risk,” said Dr. Melissa Marshall. “My job as a physician is to give the best care possible. As a Title X provider, I find it unconscionable that this administration is mandating sub-standard care for low-income patients.”


  • May 22, 2018 – The United States Department of Health and Human Services released proposed Title X regulations that introduced some of the most sweeping and extreme changes in the history of the program
  • July 30, 2018 – Essential Access Health submitted public comments outlining the harms the proposed regulations would cause in California and across the country
  • February 22, 2019 – Final Title X regulations released on the Office of Population Affairs website
  • March 4, 2019 – Final regulations officially published in the Federal Register; Essential Access Health & Melissa Marshall MD v. Azar filed in federal court
  • March 21, 2019 – Essential Access Health filed preliminary injunction motion
  • April 18, 2019 – Oral arguments presented in preliminary injunction hearing
  • May 3, 2019 – Date regulations are scheduled to start taking effect


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