California Attorney General Xavier Becerra files action over women's reproductive healthcare

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- More than $20.6 million is up for grabs in California for family planning services under a federal program known as Title X.

"For decades, women and families have used Title X to access cancer screenings, family planning services, including birth control and many other programs," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.

Becerra, who was joined by Planned Parenthood, announced he is leading a coalition of 20 attorney generals in an amicus brief to block the Trump administration's new priorities for the program.

"Some of these facilities that are favored by the Trump administration don't meet the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's clinical quality standards," Becerra said.

Becerra said the new guidelines favor organizations that don't offer fact-based information or comprehensive healthcare.

"The administration has made it clear that it intends to restrict, if not, eliminate access to reproductive healthcare," said Maggy Krell, chief legal counsel for Planned Parenthood affiliates of California.

But members of California pro-life groups, which haven't received Title X funding, disagree.

"The proposed changes would make available to our low-income patients, to our minority communities, to vulnerable communities, new healthier alternatives," said Astrid Bennett, the VIDA Initiative president. "Natural family planning, which is a safe and effective method. It's not the rhythm method, it's not something archaic. It's actually scientific. It is something that women deserve to know because hormonal contraceptives are very harmful."

Planned Parenthood opponents like Bennett said that while Title X funds cannot be used for abortions, the money should not go to organizations that profit from the procedure. Applications for Title X grants are due later this month. A hearing on the case is scheduled for late June.
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