The Trump-Pence administration is at it again. Since taking office, the administration has been working systematically dismantle public health programs that millions of Americans rely on to access quality family planning services, reduce rates of unintended pregnancy, and provide medically accurate and age appropriate sex education programming.
The Trump-Pence administration has announced a “gag rule” that would restrict access to sexual and reproductive health care and block patients from Planned Parenthood health centers by cutting Title X funds to any health care provider that refers their patients for safe, legal abortion.
Title X funding is a major part of our public health infrastructure that provides Minnesotans with the birth control and reproductive health services they need.
Here 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 screening, birth control, and STI testing.
Forty percent of all pregnancies in Minnesota are unintended, indicating an ongoing and urgent need for accessible family planning and reproductive health services.
Restricting access to care would hurt people with lower incomes, rural people, and people of color.
Everyone, regardless of their race, of their income, or where they live, deserves the best medical care and information available. Under this rule, they won’t get it.
- 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. Fifty-five percent of Planned Parenthood clinics in Minnesota are in rural or medically underserved areas, meaning that often without Planned Parenthood, patients would have nowhere else to turn for reproductive health care. Women in greater Minnesota have a 30% higher risk of being diagnosed with invasive disease—like cervical and 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 screening. This rule would make access to these essential health care services even more difficult in areas where folks 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 to accessing health care. Nationally, Black and African Americans make up 21 percent of Title X patients, and Hispanic and Latino patients make up 32 percent.
This is completely unacceptable. There’s no question about it: the Title X gag rule is an unethical attack on the health of Minnesota women and communities. We cannot stand by as politicians continue to attack our health and rights – and we won’t.