The Trump-Pence administration’s Title X gag rule takes effect on June 20, 2019 after a ruling by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Title X, the nation’s family planning program, helps cover the cost of contraception and preventive care for people with low incomes—53,000 people in Minnesota alone and millions nationwide. This gag rule bans any health care provider that refers patients for safe, legal abortion from receiving Title X funds, thereby excluding Planned Parenthood patients from this critical source of family planning funding.
I have never seen a policy so egregious and insidious. People with low incomes should not be denied the care they need to be healthy and plan their pregnancies. And politicians should not be telling people where they can and cannot get their health care. Planned Parenthood is a crucial part of our public health system in Minnesota and this rule tries to cut off people with low incomes from receiving high-quality, lifesaving health care services at our clinics across the state.Sarah Stoesz, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States
Title X provides a range of essential preventive health services including contraception, STD testing and treatment, HIV testing, and breast and cervical cancer screenings. Since the beginning of Title X, health centers that provide abortions, like Planned Parenthood, were able to get funding but were prohibited from using those funds to subsidize or pay for abortions. No Title X funds have every been used for abortion services. The Trump-Pence administration’s ‘gag rule’ bans doctors in the Title X program across the country from telling patients how they can safely and legally access abortion. The gag rule prohibits doctors from giving patients full information about all of their sexual and reproductive health care options.
We will do everything in our power to fight this decision for one simple reason: it is a direct attack on the health of our state and our country. Planned Parenthood’s national legal team will immediately seek emergency relief from the Court of Appeals. Planned Parenthood will not let the government censor our doctors and nurses from informing patients where and how they can access health care. We will continue to fight the Trump administration in the courts and alongside champions in Congress to protect everyone’s fundamental right to health care.Sarah Stoesz, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States
In Minnesota, Planned Parenthood will no longer be able to use Title X funds to care for patients at health centers in Alexandria, Apple Valley, Bemidji, Brooklyn Park, Duluth, Eden Prairie, Grand Rapids, Mankato, Minneapolis, Moorhead, St. Paul, Richfield, St. Cloud, Virginia, Willmar, and Woodbury. 53,000 patients received care in Minnesota because of Title X in 2018.
Following the loss of Title X funding, a sliding fee scale will be offered to patients based on income and Planned Parenthood will continue to help patients enroll in health coverage they may be eligible for.
The medical community, public health experts, and the general publicare against this rule. In addition to the American Medical Association, the gag rule has been opposed by major medical associations, like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, as well as 110 public health organizations, and public health experts such as former U.S. surgeon general Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, and many others. A group of 19 different medical organizations, mayors, state lawmakers, over 200 Members of Congress, newly elected Democratic governors, and several other governors have opposed this legislation as well.