A Federal judge in Oregon has issued a nationwide temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking a Department of Health and Human Services final rule that would impose new restrictions on the Title X reproductive health services program. The rule has been called the “gag” rule because it would restrict what providers could advise patients in Title X programs about abortion, even when patients request such information.

The TRO was issued in response to efforts by the New York State Office of the Attorney General (AG) and several other state AGs who argued that the final rule, which was scheduled to take effect on May 3, would cause the states to violate the Constitutional rights of patients and providers.

Providers receiving funding under the Title X program have already been barred from performing abortions with the funds. The new rule would also impose new restrictions on counseling and referrals. It also calls for a complete physical separation between Title X-funded and non-funded activities, including the maintenance of separate personnel and medical records.