Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday his state is joining Planned Parenthood in pulling out of the Title X family-planning program rather than comply with abortion restrictions implemented by the Trump administration.
The governor’s office said the state is unwilling to abide by the final rule, which prohibits grant recipients from promoting or making referrals for abortion, and requires a physical and financial separation between abortion and other services.
Planned Parenthood for America announced Monday that it would reject Title X funding, leaving about $60 million in grants for its affiliates on the table, while Washington is apparently the first state to do so.
Mr. Inslee said that the Department of Health and Human Services rule “forces Washington state out of the Title X program,” which provides $286 million annually in family-planning funding to assist low-income patients.
“We will not be bullied. We will not be coerced. We will not be blackmailed and threatened,” Mr. Inslee said in a statement. “Reproductive health care is basic health care. And it’s one of the most necessary and fundamental rights of a just and equitable democracy.”
We will not be bullied. We will not be coerced. We will not be blackmailed and threatened. Reproductive health care is basic health care. And it’s one of the most necessary and fundamental rights of a just and equitable democracy. https://t.co/PolYDikODH— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) August 22, 2019
State officials sent a letter Thursday to DHHS grants manager Scott Moore informing him that the department has “forced us to terminate our Title X grant and lose vital funds for reproductive health care in our state.”
In the latest Title X grantmaking, the Washington State Department of Health received a $4.1 million award for 2019-22, which helps fund 16 organizations and 85 clinics, according to the state.
Washington, California and Oregon had sued to block the “gag rule,” but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the request, allowing the rule to take effect Monday.
It’s been a busy week for Mr. Inslee, who dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary contest Wednesday and announced Thursday that he would run for reelection.
He made the Title X announcement at a press conference in Seattle with Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Rep. Suzan DelBene as well as Planned Parenthood advocates and patients.
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