Concord, NH -- With one day until the close of the federal comment period for proposed changes to the Title X program, more than 1,800 Granite Staters have submitted comments opposing the Trump-Pence Administration’s proposed gag rule, which would prohibit doctors, nurses, hospitals, community health centers, and any other provider in the Title X program from telling patients how they can access safe, legal abortion.
“The proposed gag rule is a cruel policy that would be disastrous for the populations most in need of basic health care. This rule would jeopardize the health care of 18,000 Granite Staters currently accessing care at Title X health centers, and will limit their access to essential services, such as birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, and well person exams,” said Sabrina Dunlap, Vice President of Public Policy of the Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund. “The Trump-Pence Administration continues to push policy after policy taking away women’s basic rights and freedoms, and threatening their access to health care. In response, we’ve seen people rise up all across the state and the country, speaking out against these dangerous policies and proposals. Planned Parenthood and our supporters will never stop fighting to ensure everyone has access to affordable, quality reproductive health care.”
Announced earlier this spring, the proposed changes to Title X would also impose new rules designed to make it impossible for millions of patients to access birth control and preventive care at Planned Parenthood.
The five Planned Parenthood health centers in New Hampshire serve more than 11,000 patients, or approximately 60% of the 18,000 Title X patients in our state and are among the only places people can come for specialized care like Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) or the birth control shot.
Title X is the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. It ensures more than four million people have access to basic, preventive reproductive health care no matter where they live, how much money they make, or whether they have health insurance. If the proposed rules are implemented, they would dramatically change the program, resulting in people losing access to care in New Hampshire and across the country.
The Department of Health and Human Services is accepting comments on the proposed gag rule and Senator Maggie Hassan has requested DHHS extend the public comment period.
A sampling of the comments Granite Staters submitted:
- “My adult daughters are current patients of Planned Parenthood, and this gag rule, which is medically unethical and dangerous for public health, has the potential to cause them serious harm, as well as undermine the integrity of medical care in this country. I am deeply opposed to the gag rule and the withholding of medical information from me, my daughters and all patients who seek medical care.” - Carin, Lebanon
- “As a retired teacher, I am concerned about the health of the young women of our country. Many of my high school students used Planned Parenthood for their health services. For more than forty years, Title X has been helping women and men get life-saving health services like cancer screenings, birth control, wellness exams, and more. The domestic gag rule is a radical departure from US health policy, and is designed to block people from accessing care and accurate information about their health.” -Marsha, Hollis
- “This gag rule is medically unethical and dangerous for public health. Women need as much information as possible if they are going to make the right decision for their health and future.” -Ellen, Alstead
- “This gag rule is medically unethical and dangerous for public health. Every human being should always be able to know all options pertaining to their own health without government censorship. Our country is built on the concept of freedom for all.” -Bethany, Merrimack
- “This gag rule is not only medically unethical and dangerous for public health, but it will result in women resorting to what has happened in the past where women have risked their lives and in many cases lost their lives with unwanted pregnancies. In the 21st century it is unconscionable that anyone would think a gag rule would be a logical and safe answer.” -Gary, Hampton Falls
- “Health care organizations that provide medically accurate and critical information to men and women will be irreparably harmed if the Gag Rule goes into effect because they will be denied access to comprehensive medically accurate information and thus their health, well-being, safety, and even their lives will be put at great risk. It is clear that the purpose of the gag rule is to defund one particular organization that has been providing comprehensive health care for many decades. This is a travesty. Planned Parenthood affiliates provide critical services to underserved populations and their care and compassion have helped many many people suffering from reproductive health issues from cervical cancer to serious infections.” -Lucy, Hopkinton
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is the largest provider of reproductive and sexual health care for women, men and teens across the State of New Hampshire. We serve New Hampshire residents through 6 health centers in Claremont, Derry, Exeter, Keene, Manchester and White River Junction, VT. Last year we saw more than 11,000 patients at these sites.
Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.