The Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson Tuesday filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Yakima. The lawsuit challenges the Trump Administration’s “gag rule” that impacts federal funding for reproductive healthcare and family planning services. Ferguson announced the lawsuit on Feb. 25. Ferguson says he filed the suit in Yakima because he says the rule will "disproportionately" impact women in rural Washington State. He says if the rule goes into effect it will leave 21 counties in Washington State without a Title X provider. 11 of those providers are in Eastern Washington.
A news release from the state says the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services formally published the gag rule on Monday. It will go into effect on May 3. The news release says "Later this month, Ferguson will file a motion for preliminary injunction, which asks the court to block rule before it goes into effect."

In Washington, 91,284 patients received care through Title X in 2017. More than half of these patients were at or below the federal poverty line. The Washington Department of Health estimates that services provided to these patients prevented over 18,000 unintended pregnancies and over 6,000 abortions, resulting in savings for the state of more than $113 million.

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