Oklahoma’s lawsuit says the state has “administered the Title X family planning program in Oklahoma for more than 40 years,” using the grants to “disperse funds through 68 county health departments, who provide critical public health services to rural and urban Oklahoma communities.”
In May of this year, the lawsuit says, HHS pulled Title X funding from the state after having accused it of being “in violation of Title X and out of compliance with the terms and conditions” of the grant, specifically because the state health department “no longer offered pregnant clients the opportunity to be provided information and counseling about abortion/pregnancy termination.”
The state had in 2022 been warned of the requirement to include abortion referrals in its Title X coverage. Oklahoma attempted to “find an agreeable solution with the Health Department that would allow the Health Department to continue receiving Title X funds while complying with Oklahoma law prohibiting abortions,” the lawsuit said.
The state was “unable to find a solution allowing compliance with the regulation and Oklahoma law,” the suit said. The White House ultimately redistributed the Title X funds, including to an out-of-state provider.
The lawsuit is similar to one filed last month by Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, who sued the White House in response to its decision to redirect millions of dollars of Title X funding toward Planned Parenthood in the state.
In both cases, the states have been caught in between back-and-forth policy decisions from the Trump and Biden administrations, with both presidents having issued orders to modify Title X policy relating to abortion.