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For more than two years, the Trump-Pence administration has been working to systematically dismantle public health programs that provide quality family planning services and medically-accurate, age-appropriate sex education programming. These are programs that millions of Americans rely on.

The Trump-Pence administration has implemented a gag rule scheduled to take effect in 60 days. This gag rule will dismantle our nation’s family planning program, which is ensures that people with low incomes can access reproductive health care. In Minnesota, 53,000 patients across 31 locations–including 51,000 Planned Parenthood patients–rely on Title X-funded clinics for life-saving health care, cancer screenings, birth control, and STD testing.

The rule makes it illegal for health care providers to refer patients who count on Title X for an abortion. Because of Planned Parenthood’s commitment to ethical patient care, it would be impossible to continue participating in the program. Planned Parenthood won’t withhold critical information from patients.

All patients deserve access to the best medical care and information possible.

Restricting access to care would hurt people with lower incomes, people who live in rural areas, and people of color.

Everyone, regardless of their race, their income, or where they live, deserves the best medical care and information available. Under the gag, they won’t get it.

• It will disproportionately impact communities of color, making existing barriers to health care for people of color even worse.

• In some communities, Planned Parenthood health centers are the only place for uninsured people or people with low incomes to turn for the reproductive care they need.

• The need for Planned Parenthood services is particularly acute in rural areas. 55 percent of Planned Parenthood clinics in Minnesota are in rural or medically underserved areas; meaning that often without Planned Parenthood, patients may have nowhere else to turn for reproductive health care.

Women in greater Minnesota have a 30 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with invasive disease—like cervical cancer or breast cancer—compared with those in the Twin Cities area. These women are less likely to receive preventive gynecological care, including breast exams, pap tests, and colorectal cancer screenings. This rule would make access to these essential health care services even more difficult in areas where people already face significant challenges to accessing care.

• Because of systemic inequities, many patients who rely on Title X for their health care needs are people of color, who already face significant barriers when accessing health care. Nationally, Black and African American patients make up 21 percent of Title X patients, and Hispanic and Latino patients make up 32 percent.

Tags: minnesota

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