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Access to health care for more than 16,000 people in New Hampshire and millions nationwide will temporarily be protected thanks to three injunctions issued last week by federal judges preventing the Title X gag rule from going to effect.

These injunctions will temporarily block the rule while it’s challenged in court. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Medical Association, and a coalition of more than 20 states have filed a pair of lawsuits challenging the rule.

The Title X gag rule would have prohibited health care providers in the Title X program from  referring patients for abortion, and would have risked access to health care services like birth control, STD testing and treatment, and cancer screenings. The rule would have also imposed onerous “physical separation” restrictions on health centers that provide, refer, or counsel on abortion.

Most major medical organizations in the United States -- including the American Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American College of Physicians -- oppose the rule on the grounds that the it violates the ethical standards of health care professionals and jeopardizes the health of millions of Americans.    

While these temporary injunctions against the gag rule are great news, we must continue to prepare for the rule to go into effect. The New Hampshire House has approved a budget that includes an additional $2 million over two years in contingency family planning dollars to cover the loss of the Title X program, if the rule goes into effect. Please reach out to your representatives in the New Hampshire Senate and Gov. Sununu and urge them to support this additional funding, so that patients can continue to access the essential reproductive health care they rely on through the Title X family planning program.

Tags: domestic gag rule, Title X