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Rule to limit abortion referrals off table in Maine for now

July 5, 2019

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A new rule that limits referrals by abortion providers won’t take effect in Maine due to the actions of a group of West Coast judges.

The legal maneuvering concerns a Trump administration rule that opponents often call the “abortion gag rule.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced new rules this year to prohibit family planning clinics funded by the federal Title X program from making abortion referrals.

A Maine federal judge denied a reproductive rights group’s request to block the rules Wednesday. Later that day, a group of judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed to reconsider a similar lawsuit. That reinstated a national injunction, meaning the rule won’t take effect anywhere.

Maine Family Planning president George Hill says the fight’s “not over.”

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