Under the Trump administration, a dangerous regulation made health care more difficult to access for patients with low incomes. It’s time for this rule to end.
Since the start of their term, President Biden and Vice President Harris have moved boldly to undo damage done by their predecessors — bolstering vaccine distribution and education to help bring an end to the pandemic, securing long-delayed COVID-19 relief, and ending destructive policies, such as the global gag rule, aimed at denying people essential sexual and reproductive health care.
With the window closing on its first 100 days in office, the Biden-Harris administration is moving to take another huge and long-awaited step toward helping people in the United States retake full control of their bodies and lives. They took the first step to dismantle the harmful Title X gag rule — a Trump administration rule that denies people access to critical health information while making it even more burdensome and expensive for patients with low incomes to get potentially lifesaving sexual and reproductive health care.
The gag rule forced over 1,000 health care centers out of the nation’s only dedicated program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. This means fewer points of access for affordable sexual and reproductive health care — including STI testing and treatment, lifesaving preventive screenings, and other services to support people’s lives and futures. The gag rule is terrible public health policy, opposed by every major medical association, as well as public health experts, and a majority of the American people.
Pictured above: Demonstrators against the Title X gag rule in Washington, March 2019
Right now, we have a chance to make our voices heard. You can make a direct impact by submitting a comment that tells the Biden-Harris administration about the incredible harm of the Title X gag rule, and urges them to swiftly end the gag rule and make Title X work better for ALL people. But time is short: The comment period ends in 30 days.
Let President Biden Know
Urge the Biden administration to repeal the Title X gag rule and ensure everyone has access to reproductive health care by submitting a comment today.
Trump’s gag rule, implemented in 2019, banned health care providers in the Title X program across the country from telling patients the facts about how they could safely and legally access abortion.
Title X funding has never been usable for abortion — but the gag rule was designed specifically to target abortion providers. It forced health care providers to violate their ethical obligations by withholding full information about patients’ options — and forced many community health care providers, including Planned Parenthood health centers, out of the program. Nearly overnight, the program lost nearly HALF of its capacity to serve patients.
The rule was a direct attack on people who have always faced systemic barriers to health care, such as people in rural areas, as well as Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities. It came from an administration that was willing to sabotage health care access at every turn. For these communities, the gag rule impeded access to affordable reproductive health care, including birth control and life-saving cancer screenings. It did so during a time of health and economic crisis, when people needed more peace of mind and access to affordable care, not less.
During the fight to stop the gag rule from going into effect, we built power — collecting half a million comments from people who sought to protect access to affordable care. In 2020, through Planned Parenthood Votes, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and local Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations, you contacted more than 5.5 million voters to get out the vote. Your efforts helped to elect new leaders with a new vision, and created a chance to retake full control of our bodies and our lives.
Now, we MUST seize this opportunity to swiftly roll back the Title X gag rule and ensure everyone has access to both the information and the affordable, accessible sexual and reproductive care they need. Health care access is a human right, and should never depend on one’s race, one’s ZIP code, or one’s income.
Let’s be clear: The Title X gag rule was designed to harm communities that already experience systemic barriers to care and economic opportunity. The rule blocked their access to providers — such as Planned Parenthood health centers — that offer affordable reproductive health care, from birth control to life-saving cancer screenings.
With the gag rule, the Trump administration made pawns of these communities — punishing people who need health care — all for the sake of politics. Due to centuries of systemic racism and injustice, the rule has mostly harmed people of color and people with low incomes, all at a time when access to health care has never been more important. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified those harms, in fact, impeding access to sexual and reproductive health care, which is inextricably tied to health and safety in hard-hit communities.
Reversing the Title X gag rule is an important step towards building a future where we control our bodies and our lives — a future we made possible when we elected the Biden-Harris administration. Act now: Submit a comment urging the Biden-Harris administration to move swiftly as it works to lift this cruel and destructive rule.
Use Your Voice
Leave a comment that urges the Biden administration to repeal the gag rule. We need to overwhelm the administration with so many comments that we can’t be ignored.