Go to Content Go to Navigation Go to Navigation Go to Site Search Homepage

Despite opposition from the medical community, the Trump-Pence administration today released a final 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 4 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 of Northern New England (PPNNE) 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. PPNNE serves approximately 45% of the 22,000 Mainers who rely on the Title X program; this rule leaves their health, rights, and lives hanging in the balance.

The rule imposes cost prohibitive and unnecessary “physical separation” requirements on health centers that also provide abortion in an effort to stop Planned Parenthood from participating in the Title X program. These requirements 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 administration staff. None of these requirements contribute to the health of patients.

Statement from Nicole Clegg, Vice President of Public Policy:

“Thousands of Maine people depend upon Planned Parenthood for essential health care. This gag rule is unethical and asks medical providers to compromise the nonjudgmental care they are sworn to provide. Patients expect their health care providers to speak honestly with them, to answer their questions, to help them in their time of need.  
“Imagine if the Trump administration prevented doctors from talking to patients with diabetes about insulin. It would never happen. Reproductive health care should be no different. As healthcare providers that Mainers turn to every day, it’s our job to provide evidence-based, accurate information to our patients. We will always be here for our patients. We won’t withhold medical information from our patients, and we won’t stop fighting for everyone’s ability to access the fundamental right to health care.”

This rule is opposed by the general public, the medical community, lawmakers, 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.

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.

There is no replacement for Planned Parenthood, as researchers, medical experts and other providers agree. This rule could put access to free or low-cost basic needs — like birth control, and STI or cancer screenings — out of reach for many underserved communities, including rural communities and many communities of color.

  • 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 in areas where  other providers are present, the providers often lack the capacity to serve additional patients. Community health centers themselves say there is no way they could fill the gap.
  • In 2015, across the entire community health center network, 40 percent of sites served fewer than 10 contraceptive patients annually.



This website uses cookies

Planned Parenthood cares about your data privacy. We and our third-party vendors use cookies and other tools to collect, store, monitor, and analyze information about your interaction with our site to improve performance, analyze your use of our sites and assist in our marketing efforts. You may opt out of the use of these cookies and other tools at any time by visiting Cookie Settings. By clicking “Allow All Cookies” you consent to our collection and use of such data, and our Terms of Use. For more information, see our Privacy Notice.

Cookie Settings

Planned Parenthood cares about your data privacy. We and our third-party vendors, use cookies, pixels, and other tracking technologies to collect, store, monitor, and process certain information about you when you access and use our services, read our emails, or otherwise engage with us. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences, or your device. We use that information to make the site work, analyze performance and traffic on our website, to provide a more personalized web experience, and assist in our marketing efforts. We also share information with our social media, advertising, and analytics partners. You can change your default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our Necessary Cookies as they are deployed to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information, please see our Privacy Notice.



We use online advertising to promote our mission and help constituents find our services. Marketing pixels help us measure the success of our campaigns.



We use qualitative data, including session replay, to learn about your user experience and improve our products and services.



We use web analytics to help us understand user engagement with our website, trends, and overall reach of our products.