Arkansas joins multi-state lawsuit against repealing ban on abortion referrals

Politics
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FILE–In this Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, file photo, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge speaks to reporters at Trump Tower, in New York. A federal lawsuit filed by death row inmates in Arkansas has renewed a court fight over whether the sedative Arkansas uses for lethal injections causes torturous executions, two years after the state raced […]

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas has joined in a multi-state lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s rollback of s Trump administration abortion facility rule.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. Southern District of Ohio.

The lawsuit seeks to reinstate the Department of Health and Human Services rule made in 2019 that required federally funded family planning clinics to be physically and financially separate from abortion providers and refrain from referring patients to them.

The rules prevented federal funds from going to those public family planning clinics that did refer patients to abortion providers.

“This regulatory flip-flop is just another example of President Biden’s non-stop assault on America’s unborn children,” Rutledge said. “It is important that we stand together to protect the lives of the unborn and ensure that no taxpayer dollars fund abortions.”

The rules affect the Title X Family Planning Program, a federal grant program focused on providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and preventative health services. The new regulation will return the Title X program to how it functioned between 2000 and 2019.

Clinics caring for mostly low-income populations, including infertility treatment, contraceptive education and counseling, and breast and cervical cancer screenings are the main beneficiaries of Title X.

Title X has always prohibited direct funding from going to abortion care. Clinics could make referrals to providers until the 2019 rule change.

The change to the current rule will go into effect Nov. 8.

Along with Arkansas, the other states that joined Ohio’s challenge are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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