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Federal judge blocks new Trump abortion rule

A federal judge in Yakima, Washington, granted a nationwide injunction Thursday blocking the Trump administration's new rules prohibiting federally funded health care providers from referring patients for abortions.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the policy earlier this year. Already, groups receiving money under the Title X program are not allowed to perform abortions with that funding. The new rules would have hit low-income Americans who use Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of reproductive health services in the U.S., especially hard.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian wrote that the restrictions reverse "long-standing positions of the department without proper consideration of sound medical opinions and the economic and non-economic consequences," and the Department of Health and Human Services offered "no reasoned analysis" for changing the rules. He also said the challengers, including the state of Washington and the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, demonstrated that the rule "likely violates the central purpose of Title X, which is to equalize access to comprehensive, evidence-based, and voluntary family planning."