Gag rule will devastate the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive care
WEST PALM BEACH –– The Trump-Pence administration’s Title X gag rule takes effect in every state but Maryland, after a ruling by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Just yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a spending package that would block the gag rule from being implemented because it’s dangerous, it’s unethical, and it’s illegal –– and now the Senate must act.
Trump’s gag rule makes it illegal for health care providers in the Title X program to refer patients for abortion, and also blocks access to care at Planned Parenthood by imposing cost-prohibitive and unnecessary “physical separation” requirements. Planned Parenthood has limited emergency funds that will allow affiliates to continue care for patients in the short term, while seeking further emergency relief from the Ninth Circuit.
“This rule threatens to take away quality, affordable reproductive health care and information from millions of people,” said Stephanie Fraim, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. “All patients, regardless of income, deserve access to the best medical care and information possible.”
Title X helps millions of people struggling to make ends meet –– the majority of whom are people of color, Hispanic, or Latino –– access birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing, and other essential reproductive health care. Providers of care to nearly 50 percent of the Title X patients have made it clear that the rule would force them out of program –– the administration is putting health care at risk for patients across the country.
More background and information on the gag rule and the litigation can be found here.
“The Trump-Pence administration’s gag rule is unethical, illegal, and harmful to public health,” said Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Planned Parenthood will not stand for this attack on millions of people across the country. We will be immediately seeking emergency relief from the Court of Appeals. Planned Parenthood will not let the government censor our doctors and nurses from informing patients where and how they can access health care. We will continue to fight the Trump administration in the courts and alongside champions in Congress to protect everyone’s fundamental right to health care.”
The 9th Circuit granted the request from the Trump-Pence administration to block the preliminary injunctions in California, Oregon, and Washington, which allows the gag rule to go into effect in all states besides Maryland. Four judges had previously blocked the rule, with two judges blocking it nationwide.
The medical community, public health experts, and the general public are against this rule. In addition to the American Medical Association, the gag rule has been opposed by major medical associations, like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, as well as 110 public health organizations, and public health experts such as former U.S. surgeon general Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, and many others. A group of 19 different medical organizations, mayors, state lawmakers, over 200 Members of Congress, newly elected Democratic governors, and several other governors have opposed this legislation as well.
“We stand with the medical community in opposition to these gag rules,” said Lillian Tamayo, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida. “Because of our commitment to ethical patient care it would be impossible for us to continue participating in the program. We won’t withhold critical information from our patients.”