Ninth Circuit Allows Title X Gag Rule To Go Into Effect, Threatening Health Care for More than 16,000 Granite Staters and Millions Nationwide
For Immediate Release: June 21, 2019
CONCORD –– The Trump-Pence administration’s Title X gag rule is now in effect in New Hampshire and every state but Maryland, after a ruling by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Trump’s gag rule prohibits health care providers in the Title X program from referring patients for abortion and also blocks access to care at Planned Parenthood by imposing cost-prohibitive and unnecessary “physical separation” requirements. More than 16,000 low-income people in New Hampshire and millions nationwide rely on Title X to access birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing/treatment, and other essential reproductive health care. More background and information on the gag rule and the litigation can be found here
New Hampshire state budget writers have incorporated contingency funding, which is now necessary, into the budget to be used as long as the gag rule stays in effect. Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire urges the Governor to support the budget, which includes this funding, so that the more than 16,000 New Hampshire Title X patients can continue to access care. Nationally, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a spending package earlier this week that would block the gag rule from being implemented –– and now the Senate must act.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England plans to use its own limited emergency funds at health centers so it can continue to offer affordable care to patients while litigation continues in the Ninth Circuit.
The 9th Circuit granted the request from the Trump-Pence administration to block the preliminary injunctions in California, Oregon, and Washington, which allows the gag rule to go into effect in all states besides Maryland. Four judges had previously blocked the rule, with two judges blocking it nationwide.
The medical community, public health experts, and the general public are against the gag 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.
Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“The Trump-Pence administration’s gag rule is unethical, illegal, and harmful to public health. The news out of the 9th Circuit is devastating for the millions of people who rely on Title X health centers for cancer screenings, HIV tests, affordable birth control and other critical primary and preventive care. Planned Parenthood will not stand for this attack on millions of people across the country. We will be immediately seeking 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.”
Statement from Sabrina Dunlap, VP of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England:
“The health and safety of PPNNE patients will always be our top priority, and we will continue to do everything we can to ensure our patients receive the best medical care available — no matter what. New Hampshire budget writers saw the need to protect health care from the Trump administration by preparing for this day. We look forward to Governor Sununu passing a budget that includes these now necessary family planning contingency funds to help mitigate this completely unnecessary health care crisis.”
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is the largest provider of reproductive and sexual health care for women, men and young people 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 nearly 14,000 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. The Action Fund makes independent expenditures on behalf of or in opposition to targeted candidates for public office. Follow us on Twitter. PPNHAF maintains a separate, segregated political committee and fund to make direct campaign contributions to endorsed candidates (the PAC).