Nationwide Domestic Gag Rule Threatens Healthcare for Millions in Hawaii
Contact: Andrew Everett, Communications Specialist, (206) 702-4357, [email protected]
For Immediate Release: Feb. 22, 2019 (Updated: Feb. 22, 2019, 8:17 p.m.)
Planned Parenthood in Hawaii Condemns Trump-Pence Administration Attempt to Restrict Access to Title X Reproductive Health Care
HONOLULU – Access to health care for thousands of people across Hawaii is on the line as the Trump-Pence administration attacks the nation’s only family planning program. The “domestic gag rule” would change Title X funding to prevent medical providers from sharing with their patients information about the full range of options during pregnancy.
Nationally, Planned Parenthood serves 41 percent (1.6 million) of the 4 million people who rely on Title X health centers; this rule leaves their health, rights, and lives hanging in the balance.
“This is a direct political attack on health centers that provide family planning services to low-income people,” said Jennifer M. Allen, CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. “The domestic gag rule is a cruel and unethical attack on reproductive rights by the Trump-Pence administration because it puts affordable health care out of reach for many underserved communities, including communities of color and rural communities in Hawaii.”
“This is bad news for anyone who can’t afford the rising costs of health care because the gag rule dismantles the nation’s only family planning program meant to ensure that people with low incomes can still access birth control, STI testing, cancer screenings, and other essential reproductive health care,”said Laurie Field, Hawaii State Director for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. “We stand in solidarity with the thousands of patients and their care providers who are affected by the gag rule.”
Once implemented, the Trump-Pence domestic gag rule would:
- Make it illegal for doctors, nurses, hospitals, and community health centers across the country that participate in the Title X program to refer their patients for safe, legal abortion.
- Impose new restrictions designed to make it impossible for patients to get birth control or preventive care from reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood.
- Remove the guarantee that people are getting full and accurate information about their health care from their providers. Title X law has been clear: health care providers receiving funds cannot withhold information from patients about their pregnancy options. The Trump-Pence gag rule will reverse that.
- The rule also imposes cost prohibitive and unnecessary “physical separation” requirements on health centers that also provide abortion services in an effort to stop Planned Parenthood from participating in the Title X program. These requirements will 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.
The rule has been met with widespread opposition by the American people, the medical community, lawmakers, and public health experts.
In rejecting the proposed Trump gag rule, Hawaii Governor David Ige said: “The State of Hawai‘i will explore all options available to ensure that the proposed rules do not threaten the health and wellbeing of our women, and the integrity of the state’s family planning program. Hawai‘i will not accept federal funds for these programs if the proposed rules are implemented.”
Polling from Hart Research Associates showed overwhelming opposition to the Trump-Pence administration’s efforts to take away women’s basic rights and health care. Major medical associations,including the American Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and others, oppose this rule. More than 200 members of Congress (see the Senate letter and House letter) and more than 110 public health organizations have come out in opposition to the gag policy.
“Planned Parenthood will always be here for our patients and will continue to fight for everyone’s ability to get affordable, quality health care – no matter what,” said Field.
More information on the gag rule’s impact can be found here.