March 22, 2019
Area(s) of Interest: Women's Health Public Health
Sacramento, CALIF. – The California Medical Association (CMA) provided support to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra's motion in federal court to block a new Trump Administration rule that would restrict access to critical health care for women and limit access to birth control. The Trump Administration rule also prohibits doctors from providing accurate information for patients and referrals for abortion.
CMA's declaration by Tanya Spirtos, M.D., was filed with Attorney General Becerra's motion for preliminary injunction and took the administration to task for creating policy that interferes with the physician-patient relationship and could restrict access to care for up to 1 million women across California.
“The rule is likely to seriously undermine the effectiveness of the Title X program and make it more difficult for low-income patients in California to access the full range of reproductive health care and thus reverse established medical access for California women,” Dr. Spirtos wrote. The declaration further states that the rule "restricts physicians from speaking freely with their patients, violates core ethical standards, and undermines the physician-patient relationship."
Established in 1970, Title X is the only federal program dedicated to funding family planning and preventative health services for low-income individuals. California is home to the largest Title X program in the nation, serving about 1 million low-income residents across the state. California’s Title X recipients account for more than 25 percent of patients who use the program nationwide.
The Trump Administration proposal would withhold federal funds to qualified family planning providers that offer abortion services and will restrict counseling about abortion services.
The Trump Administration attack on Title X was formally challenged in a new lawsuit filed by Becerra on March 4. In announcing the suit, Becerra said “The Trump-Pence Administration has doubled down on its attacks on women’s health. This illegal Title X rule denies patients access to critical healthcare services and prevents doctors from providing comprehensive and accurate information about medical care. The Trump-Pence Administration’s sabotage of Title X services that millions of women across our nation rely on is not only irresponsible, it is dangerous to women’s health.”
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The California Medical Association represents the state’s physicians with more than 44,000 members in all modes of practice and specialties, and CMA is dedicated to the health of all patients in California. For more information, please visit CMAdocs.org, and follow CMA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.