Planned Parenthood helped Emily Ambrose when she needed family planning services as a college student in 2010, and she would hate to see cuts in funding for the clinics, as the Trump administration is proposing to do with its controversial “gag rule.”

The rule is designed to restrict what can be said to patients about abortion services. But Ambrose said the other health care services offered at Planned Parenthood should not be overlooked.

“They empowered me and cared for me,” Ambrose, 30, a marketing manager in Portland, said after a Planned Parenthood forum on Monday. “(Birth control) was offered on a sliding scale, and they sat down with me and discussed all my available options. It really broadened my understanding of what all of my choices were.”

Ambrose said Planned Parenthood also served as her primary care center, and she still goes there now, even though she has insurance and could choose to go many places for health care.

The forum – which included stories from patients and a discussion between Planned Parenthood officials and Maine’s two members of the U.S. House of Representatives – was held Monday morning at the organization’s offices in downtown Portland.

Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden, both Democrats, said they supported Planned Parenthood’s efforts to fight the rule that, if implemented, would forbid abortion referrals at Planned Parenthood and other health care providers that offer abortion services. The rule threatens federal funding for women’s health clinics in Maine and across the country.

By law, federal funds cannot be used to pay for abortions, but the Trump administration approved a rule that would prevent groups that receive federal funds from making patient referrals for abortions. The rule would have gone into effect in May, but a federal judge in Washington state issued an injunction on Thursday putting a hold on the rule, pending appeals. When the administration announced the rule, a number of groups, including Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Association, immediately sued.

Maine Family Planning, which operates 18 clinics in Maine, also is fighting the new rule and has filed suit against the federal government. The organization withdrew a motion for a preliminary injunction after the Washington state judge issued his ruling.

Planned Parenthood  argued it would have to turn down federal funding under Title X, which includes funding for family planning services, because of onerous requirements, including that it would not be permitted to share space with doctors that provide abortions. For Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, that represents about $400,000 in federal funding for its four Maine health clinics, and $1.8 million in total for all of its clinics in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Pingree said the health care services provided by Planned Parenthood are “critically important” to Maine women.

“This administration will not back down. They will try to go all the way to the Supreme Court on this issue. We are here for you,” Pingree said.

Nicole Clegg, vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood’s Maine clinics, said the rules advocated by the Trump administration would be unworkable.

“We have to be able to make referrals,” Clegg said. “We would have to withdraw from the program.”

Golden said the Trump administration is inserting itself into the patient-doctor relationship.

“It’s ridiculous to think that the government could tell doctors what information they can and cannot share with their patients,” Golden said.

The Washington judge ruled that those objecting to the gag rule were likely to prevail in court.

“Plaintiffs have demonstrated the Final Rule likely violates the central purpose of Title X, which is to equalize access to comprehensive, evidence-based, and voluntary family planning,” U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian said in his ruling on Thursday.

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