Oregon’s public health agency said Tuesday that it will withdraw from the Title X program and no longer use federal funds for reproductive health clinics due to the Trump administration’s restrictions on abortion care, making it the third state to leave the program since last week.

The Oregon Health Authority sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services stating that with would withdraw from the Title X program rather than comply with the new domestic “gag rule” that prevents reproductive health providers who receive Title X funds from mentioning abortion and giving their patients a full range of options.

“If HHS had left the state any choice other than violating the rights of individuals seeking reproductive health care, Oregon would have remained in the Title X program. HHS’ abandonment of the principles of the Title X program is upsetting, deeply disappointing and an unconstitutional violation of women’s rights,” wrote Lillian Shirley, director for the Oregon Public Health Division.

Oregon has used $14.5 million provided by Title X to help fund 106 clinics over the past five years. The state has said they will use additional sources to make up for the loss in funding. “Every person in Oregon should know this federal action will not prevent health clinics and care providers from continuing to offer the full range of high-quality, personalized and trusted reproductive health services they have always delivered,” stated Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority.

Oregon joins Vermont and Washington in deciding to stop accepting federal funds from Title X due to the new restrictions. The state is also the primary plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the new rules, along with 19 other states and the District of Columbia, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the American Medical Association.

Sources: The Hill 8/27/19; KATU 8/27/19; Feminist Newswire 8/16/19

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