District Court Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction to Block Title X Regulations in California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2019
Contact: Amy Moy, 415.518.4465

SAN FRANCISCO – U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen issued a preliminary injunction to block new Title X regulations from taking effect in California. Preliminary injunction motions were filed by Essential Access Health and the state’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra. Judge Chen’s ruling is another significant blow and strong rebuke to the Trump-Pence administration’s attempt to restrict access to essential health care and information. Earlier this week, a district court in Washington State enjoined the Rule, and a district court judge in Oregon announced that he would do the same.

Quotes from Judge Chen’s decision:

“[The regulations] will directly compromise providers’ ability to deliver effective care and force them to obstruct and delay patients with pressing medical needs.”

“[The regulations] threaten to drastically reduce access to the wide array of services provided by Title X projects by driving large numbers of providers out of the program… The net effect of so many providers leaving Title X will be a significant reduction in the availability of important medical services.”

Read the full ruling here.

"Today’s decision is a victory for the 1,000,000 low-income patients served by Title X in California each year. We are proud to be standing side by side with Attorney General Becerra to protect access to time-sensitive care for low-income patients statewide," said Julie Rabinovitz, President and CEO of Essential Access Health. "Judge Chen’s ruling affirms that in 2019, denying women the medical information and services they want and need is a losing proposition. We are committed to fighting these harmful and unlawful regulations at every level, and ensuring that they never see the light of day."

"As a health provider, my patients trust me to give them complete and unbiased information about all of their health options," said Dr. Melissa Marshall, a Co-Plaintiff in Essential Access Health’s challenge. "With this decision, Judge Chen protected my ability – and obligation - as a medical professional to give my patients the best care possible."

Background

Title X funding in California supports the delivery of essential health services including birth control, STD and pregnancy tests, and cancer screenings at over 350 health centers in 38 of California’s 58 counties. 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.

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

Case Timeline:

  • 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
  • April 26, 2019 – Preliminary injunction granted
  • May 3, 2019 – Date regulations were scheduled to take effect

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