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For immediate release: March 13, 2019                                                  

Contact: Planned Parenthood  media office, [email protected]; 212-261-4433

Planned Parenthood Launches “Protect X”
Nationwide Campaign to Stop Trump’s Title X Gag Rule

Trump-Pence administration’s attacks on Title X could put health care at risk for over 4 million

Campaign kicks off with a rally with members of Congress on Capitol Hill

#ProtectX Launch Video

WASHINGTON — Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund announced a nationwide campaign to protect and expand access to health care — starting with the Title X family planning program. Since the Trump-Pence administration released its dangerous and unethical domestic gag rule, there has been mass outcry from anxious patients, outraged medical providers, lawmakers and concerned public health advocates. They are all alarmed, because they know who the gag rule harms: 4 million people struggling to make ends meet, people of color, LGBTQ people, immigrants, and people in underserved rural communities. New polling confirms that the gag rule is unpopular and widely opposed.

Throughout the #ProtectX campaign, detailed at ProtectX.org, Planned Parenthood will engage, educate, and organize people across the country to mobilize against this harmful rule and the administration’s broader efforts to dismantle access to reproductive health care, and to support Planned Parenthood health centers. #ProtectX will raise awareness about the harm of the Title X gag rule and the importance of ensuring access to affordable birth control, cancer screenings and preventive care for all people. The campaign will harness the groundswell of grassroots energy that defeated attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood.

The #ProtectX campaign launches today across the country alongside:

This afternoon, members of Congress who will stand together to #ProtectX, progressive partners, and Planned Parenthood patient advocates will kick off the campaign with a rally on Capitol Hill. During March recess, Planned Parenthood supporters and health care advocates will engage members of Congress in their home states around the need to protect the Title X program. Throughout the campaign, Planned Parenthood health center staff and volunteers will implement patient education programs; and supporters will receive training on grassroots organizing tactics like teach-ins, neighborhood canvassing, and relational organizing.

Planned Parenthood is calling on Congress to shed light on the damage the gag rule will cause  to people’s health and lives. There needs to be an investigation into the harm the gag rule could have on 4 million people across the country. Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar and his team need to come before Congress to explain the reasons for dismantling a program that people with low incomes rely on.

6 Things People Can Do To Get Involved Today:

  • Text PROTECTX to 22422 to learn how to help protect Planned Parenthood, and get involved in the campaign to support reproductive health care.
  • Sign the “People’s Brief” to show support for Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against the Trump-Pence administration.
  • Learn how to host a teach-in in their communities through Planned Parenthood’s online training programs.
  • Download Planned Parenthood’s digital swag kit to show support for Title X across their social media platforms.
  • Health care providers can join with more than 10,000 of their peers in signing Planned Parenthood’s provider pledge opposing the gag rule.
  • Submit their story about why Title X and reproductive health care access are critical.

Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“The Trump-Pence administration is trying to gag doctors like me, while dismantling our nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care that serves 4 million women and families. Planned Parenthood is fighting back through every avenue, including suing this administration for this unethical, harmful, and illegal Title X gag rule. And today, Planned Parenthood is launching a nationwide #ProtectX campaign to educate the American people on the danger of this gag rule. Together, we will demand access to affordable, quality health care to all.

“The American people are clear –– lawmakers must not only protect our health care, but also expand access to it, because health care is a human right. Protecting the Title X program is just the beginning. America deserves stronger public programs, more access to care, and an increased investment in the health of our communities. We look forward to working alongside Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other reproductive health champions as they drive forward an agenda that protects our civil and human rights.”


Title X is 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. Planned Parenthood serves 41 percent (1.6 million) of the 4 million people in the Title X program; the gag rule leaves their health, rights, and lives hanging in the balance.

There are two main provisions in the gag rule that will put health care access at risk for millions of people: 

  1. THE GAG ITSELF: The gag rule makes it illegal for health care providers in the Title X program to refer patients for an abortion. Censoring, or gagging, these providers threatens the patient-provider relationship and prevents patients from having information about all of their options. Because of our commitment to ethical patient care, it would be impossible for Planned Parenthood to continue participating in the program. Planned Parenthood serves 41 percent (1.6 million) of the four million people who rely on Title X health centers; this rule leaves their health, rights, and lives hanging in the balance.
  2. BLOCKING ACCESS TO CARE AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD: The rule imposes cost prohibitive and unnecessary “physical separation” requirements on health centers that also provide abortion. These could include forcing health centers to build separate entrances and exits, construct whole new health centers, or hire a whole second staff of doctors, nurses, and administrative staff. None of these requirements contribute to the health of patients. This policy is clearly only intended to make it practically impossible for health centers like Planned Parenthood to participate in the program –– even though Planned Parenthood serves 41 percent (1.6 million) of the 4 million people who rely on Title X health centers.

The majority of patients in the program identify as people of color, Hispanic, or Latino. This is not an isolated attack — since day one, the Trump-Pence administration has aggressively targeted the health and rights of people of color, poor people, and women.

Planned Parenthood’s Irreplaceable Role in the Title X Program

  • Planned Parenthood serves 41 percent (1.6 million) of the 4 million people who rely on Title X health centers.
  • In many communities, Planned Parenthood is the only provider of affordable reproductive health care, or the only provider that offers specialized care like an IUD or the birth control shot.
  • Even when there are other providers available in a community, they often don’t have the capacity to serve additional patients. Community health centers themselves say there is no way they could fill the gap.
  • This could put affordable health care out of reach for many underserved communities, including communities of color and rural communities.

Who Opposes the Gag Rule?

  • 73 percent of Americans
  • More than 200 members of Congress
  • More than 20 governors
  • 80 mayors
  • 274 state legislators
  • More than 100 provider and public health organizations
  • Overwhelming numbers of doctors, nurses, and other health care providers
  • Not to mention the 4 million people who obtain care through Title X each year

The rule is opposed by the general public, the medical community, lawmakers, major medical associations, and public health experts. When the rule was announced, more than 500,000 Americans voiced their opposition by submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.