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May 15, 2018

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN FILES AMICUS BRIEF URGING PROTECTION OF WOMEN’S ACCESS TO FAMILY PLANNING

More Than 4 Million Americans Rely on Title X Funding Threatened by Federal Administration

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan, along with 19 other attorneys general, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in support of a nationwide preliminary injunction that would block a recent attempt by the federal administration to reduce access to family planning services funded under Title X.

Title X, the nation’s family planning program, funds family planning services to uninsured and underinsured Americans across the country, including birth control, sexually transmitted disease testing, breast and cervical cancer screenings, infertility treatment and other critical preventive care. A new set of criteria proposed by the federal administration would reduce access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare under Title X, jeopardizing the health of millions of low-income women and families.

“Title X funding provides critical health care services to low-income women and families across Illinois, and I will fight to ensure those families continue to have access to health care,” Madigan said.

On February 23, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a new set of criteria for providing funding, prioritizing funding for facilities that promote natural family planning methods and abstinence-only education over those that provide comprehensive reproductive healthcare. These new requirements directly threaten the ability of women and families to obtain health care in Illinois, which has more than 90 Title X clinics serving more than 100,000 people.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, along with the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, are challenging the federal administration’s proposed changes to Title X. In a lawsuit filed May 2, the organizations argue that the new funding requirements for Title X are in conflict with the underlying Title X statue and regulations. The plaintiffs also claim that the federal administration has no clear basis for the policy change and the resulting requirements are arbitrary and capricious. The current statute requires providers who receive Title X funding to provide patients with a range of family planning methods, yet the new requirements would emphasize only one set of family planning options – abstinence or natural family planning.

Joining Madigan in filing the amicus brief are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and Washington.

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