HARTFORD, CT, Jan. 15 — Family planning supporters today took legal action here to overturn a new regulation that gives hospitals, health aides and even clinic receptionists veto power over women’s health care needs. The National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, represented by the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and Planned Parenthood of Connecticut filed separate lawsuits in U.S. District Court challenging the Bush administration’s Denial Rule. Additionally, the Connecticut attorney general, joined by the attorney generals of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Rhode Island filed a separate, but parallel legal action challenging the rule.
“The courts must strike down this unconscionable, unconstitutional last-minute midnight rule, a final swipe by the Bush administration at women’s health rights,” said in a statement. “The federal government is impermissibly interfering with carefully crafted and balanced state measures protecting patients and women, particularly rape victims who may require immediate access to .”
Mary Jane Gallagher, president and CEO of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA), said the new Health and Human Services Department rule unconstitutionally endangers women’s health, exceeds HHS’ authority and clearly goes beyond the intent of Congress.
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