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ICYMI: More than 4.3 Million Health Care Providers Sound the Alarm on Trump’s Gag Rule

American Public Health Association, American Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and American College of Physicians Among Groups that Oppose Gag Rule

Since the Trump-Pence administration announced the final domestic gag rule, health care providers have been clear: the gag rule violates medical ethics. It would harm patients, widen health care inequities, and undermine the relationship between patients and their health care providers. The rule makes it illegal for health care providers in the Title X program to refer patients for an abortion. It’s designed to put health centers like Planned Parenthood  in an impossible position: withhold information from patients or get pushed out of a program designed to ensure that people struggling to make ends meet can still access birth control, STI testing, cancer screenings, and other essential reproductive health care.

Nineteen health care groups that together represent 4.3 million health care providers released a joint statement saying, “There is no room for politics in the exam room. For the health of the American people, every individual must have access to comprehensive, affordable care in a safe and timely fashion, just as every provider must be able to deliver medically accurate information and care. The administration should retract this regulation and consider the record volume of comments from the medical, scientific, and patient advocacy communities. Family planning policy should be driven by facts, evidence, and necessity, not politics and ideology.

The American Public Health Association said, “The rule would disrupt the country’s family planning infrastructure, forcing doctors and health providers to choose between serving women with Title X funds and discussing, providing or referring abortion services. The rule would also increase health inequities, widening the gap between women who are able to access needed health services and those who are not.

The President of the American Medical Association, Barbara L. McAneny, M.D, said that “Protecting the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship and defending the freedom of communication between patients and their physicians is a fundamental priority for the AMA. With this action, the administration wants to block physicians from counseling patients about all of their healthcare options and from providing appropriate referrals for care. This is a clear violation of patients’ rights in the Code of Medical Ethics.”

Other medical organizations that came out against the gag rule include the National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, HIV Medicine Association, Society for Maternal & Fetal Medicine, Physicians for Reproductive Health, National Abortion Federation, and UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health.