Federal judge issues temporary injunction regarding Title X gag rule
A federal judge issued a temporary injunction against the Trump administration’s Title X gag rule that indicated what physicians could and could not say to their patients about family planning, according to an AMA article.
The gag rule was to take effect on May 3. The AMA is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit contesting the gag rule’s validity, the AMA said.
“The new rule would have placed obstacles to health care for low-income patients,” Barbara McAneny, MD, AMA president said in the article. “We are pleased the judge shared the AMA’s concern about the physician-patient relationship that the rule would have jeopardized.”
She added that the government could not answer the judge’s repeated questions about how the gag rule would improve health outcomes.
Lisa Hollier, MD, president of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, also appreciated the judge's decision.
“A federal court blockage of the administration’s effort to overhaul Title X is a clear victory for evidence-based care. ACOG celebrates the first issuance of a preliminary injunction to preserve the patient-physician relationship. ACOG supported the court challenge by filing a brief and we continue to urge other courts to follow Oregon’s lead and enjoin the rule. Politicians should not dictate how physicians counsel their patients.”
The federal judge must now decide if the injunction should be in effect nationwide, or only apply to AMA and the other plaintiffs. When that decision is made, the judge will enjoin the rule’s requirement of financial and physical separation between Title X and non-Title X abortion-related activities, according to AMA. A date for the decision has not been announced.
The HHS had not issued a statement reacting to Tuesday's ruling prior to this story's posting.
The American Academy of Family Physicians and ACP told Healio Primary Care Today they would not be issuing statements reacting to Tuesday's decision, but both have previously indicated it signed on to amicus briefs affiliated with AMA on the gag rule.
“When our government restricts the information that can be given to women, women will receive substandard medical care and their health will suffer,” John Cullen, MD, AAFP president, said in a statement in February.
“Significant changes to Title X will jeopardize access to health care for vulnerable, often working, low-income patients who may have limited to no access to health insurance. These changes will also harm the patient-physician relationship,” then-ACP president Ana María López, MD, said in a February statement. – by Janel Miller
Disclosures: McAneny is AMA president, Hollier is ACOG president, Cullen is AAFP president, Lopez was ACP president at the time her remarks were made.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated from a previous version to reflect updated comments from AAFP and ACP.