ST. LOUIS — Despite mass outcry from the medical community and American people, the Trump-Pence administration today finalized a gag rule that undermines Title X, the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, and makes it illegal for health care providers in the program to refer patients for an abortion. This puts health care at risk for four million patients and keeps women from having information about all of their health care options.
The administration has put health care providers like Planned Parenthood in an impossible position: withhold information from its 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. Planned Parenthood serves 41 percent (1.6 million) of the four million people nationally and nearly 34% of people in Missouri’s Title X program; this rule leaves their health, rights, and lives hanging in the balance.
The majority of patients in the Title X program identify as people of color, Hispanic, or Latino, and it’s impossible to separate this attack on their health care from the other attacks this administration has leveled on families with low incomes and people of color — such as the “public charge” rule, voter suppression, and other attempts to “defund” Planned Parenthood. For people of color, the right to bodily autonomy and quality health care has been consistently under attack throughout this country’s history — leading to huge disparities in health outcomes between women of color and white women. Dismantling Title X will limit health care options even further and worsen the massive divide that already exists in health care.
Statement from M’Evie Mead, director of policy and organizing for Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri:
“We cannot and must not let this stand. Everyone deserves access to the best medical care and information possible, regardless of income. This disastrous rule could devastate access to care for people in Missouri who rely on Planned Parenthood. Know this — Planned Parenthood’s doors are open today, and they will always be there for patients. Planned Parenthood Advocates will do everything in our power to stop this dangerous rule and will continue to fight for everyone’s ability to get affordable, quality health care.”M'Evie Mead, director of policy and organizing for Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri
Major medical associations like the American Medical Association, National Medical Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, and others stand against this rule. In addition, more than 200 members of Congress and 100 public health organizations have come out in opposition to a gag policy.
A recent report found only 7% of health centers in Missouri, other than Planned Parenthood, offer accessible and comprehensive family planning care. This demonstrates a need for all safety net providers.
- 86% of non-Planned Parenthood providers DO NOT offer evening or weekend hours.
71% of non-Planned Parenthood providers DO NOT offer long-actsing reversible contraception (LARC) like IUDs.
41% of non-Planned Parenthood providers DO NOT offer birth control and Pap tests.
Missouri’s safety net needs more resources, not fewer providers.
About Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri
Planned Parenthood affiliates in Missouri and associated entities provide critical health and education services to over 46,000 women, men, and young people every year. Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri works to protect and advance Missourians’ sexual and reproductive health and rights.