Judge denies request to halt Trump “gag rule” in Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A federal judge in Maine has denied a reproductive rights group’s request to block new rules for family planning grants backed by the Trump administration.

U.S. District Court Judge Lance Walker in a decision Wednesday said he’s concerned the regulations will mean a more “convoluted” path for those seeking abortion services.

But Walker said that challenge is likely not as insurmountable as New York City-based Center for Reproduction Rights insists.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced new rules this spring to prohibit family planning clinics funded by the federal Title X program from making abortion referrals.

Maine Family Planning says the new rules jeopardize its 18 clinics and access to abortion itself. The center’s president and CEO Nancy Northup says it will keep fighting the gag rule.

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