In a July 11 ruling, a federal appeals court refused to block the Trump-Pence administration from enforcing the dangerous Title X gag rule — threatening access to essential reproductive health care for millions across the country.
Four district court judges had previously blocked the Title X gag rule, with two judges blocking it nationwide. On June 20, however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted a request from the Trump-Pence administration to stay the preliminary injunctions in California, Oregon, and Washington — thus permitting the gag rule to take effect.
The Ninth Circuit subsequently agreed to re-hear the administration’s request for a stay, but its new order makes clear that for now, the stay remains in place — jeopardizing the care of millions of people who access birth control and other reproductive health services through Title X.
What Does the Gag Rule Do?
Trump’s gag rule makes it illegal for health care providers who participate in the Title X program to refer patients for abortion — and adds cost-prohibitive, medically unnecessary restrictions specifically intended to block patients from accessing care through Title X at Planned Parenthood health centers.
Who Does The Title X Gag Rule Affect?
Title X helps millions of people who are struggling to make ends meet — the majority of whom are people of color, Hispanic, or Latino — gain access to birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing, and other essential reproductive health care.
Providers that serve nearly half of the patients who get care through Title X have made it clear that the rule would force them out of the program. That means the Trump-Pence administration's gag rule, if allowed to remain in effect, would put health care at risk for millions of patients across the country.
The Trump-Pence administration’s gag rule is unethical, illegal, and harmful to public health. The news out of the Ninth Circuit this morning is devastating for the millions of people who rely on Title X health centers for cancer screenings, HIV tests, affordable birth control and other critical forms of primary and preventive care.– Dr. Leana Wen
President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
What Happens Now?
Planned Parenthood has limited emergency funds that will allow affiliates to continue providing care for patients in the short term, while continuing to seek relief in federal appeals court.
“This is devastating news for the millions of people who rely on Title X for cancer screenings, HIV tests, affordable birth control and other critical primary and preventive care,” Dr. Wen said. “While we are incredibly concerned the panel did not recognize the harm of the Trump-Pence administration’s gag rule, we will not stop fighting for the millions across the country in need for care. Planned Parenthood will keep fighting to block this dangerous rule that allows the government to censor our doctors and nurses from doing their jobs.”
How Can I Fight Back?
Just a day before the gag rule first went into effect, on June 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a spending package that would block implementation of the gag rule — in an effort to protect patients from its dangerous, unethical, and unlawful effects. Now the Senate must act.
Call Your Senators
Demand that they protect access to reproductive health care, including birth control, under Title X.
Where Can I Learn More?
Go to #ProtectX for background and information on the Title X gag rule — and details on how to help roll back this dangerous, unethical, and illegal policy.