California One of Many States Filing Suit to Challenge Trump Administration Anti-Abortion Policy

California has filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Northern California to challenge a new regulation the Trump administration plans to enact in order to block access to abortion and family planning services. Specifically, the case seeks to enjoin new rules adopted under Title X of the Public Health Service Act, a family planning program funded by the federal government. Oregon, Washington, and approximately 20 other states are expected to file suit as well.

California’s lawsuit alleges that in enacting the rules, the Department of Health and Human Services exceeded its statutory authority, acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner, and violated the US Constitution. The program at issue is reported to have prevented an estimated 822,000 unwanted pregnancies, 387,000 unplanned births, and 278,000 abortions in California in 2015 alone. According to California’s attorney general, the new rule will affect approximately 4 million mostly low-income people across the country.

Additional Reading

California sues Trump administration over rules restricting abortion access, The Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2019

Complaint, filed March 4, 2019 in State of California. v. Alez Azar, et al.