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ST. LOUIS — Following reports that the Trump-Pence administration intends to introduce a gag rule today that would undermine the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, Mary Kogut, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri issued the following statement:

“This proposal would affect every family planning provider in our state and across the country receiving federal family planning dollars, and strip away patients’ ability to access high-quality health care and medically accurate information.

"The patients most negatively affected will be lower income, people of color, and younger patients, many with limited access to health care.

“This type of policy doesn’t work, and will undermine reproductive health care across our community and across the country.”

Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri had nearly 6,000 medical visits in 2016 covered under Title X.

This gag rule would do three things:

  1. It would impose new rules that are designed to make it impossible for patients to get birth control or preventive care from reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood.
  2. Under this rule, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and community health centers across the country could no longer refer their patients for safe, legal abortion.
  3. It removes the guarantee that you're gettin full and accurate information about your health care from your doctor. For nearly two decades, Title X law has been clear: Health care providers cannot withhold information from you about your pregnancy options. This rule means they can.

For example, under this rule, if a woman is pregnant and wants or needs an abortion, her provider will be prohibited from telling her where she can go to get one. Or if a woman's pregnancy would severely affect her health — for example, she discovers that she's pregnant after being diagnosed with cancer — her health care provider could refuse to tell her that abortion is even an option.

This is opposed by the medical community, lawmakers, and public health experts. Major medical associations like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and more oppose this rule. When a similar version of this rule was introduced in the 1980s, it was met with tremendous outcry and opposition from the medical community. More than 200 members of Congress and 100 public health organizations have come out in opposition to a gag policy.

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Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri has provided high-quality, supportive health care in the region since 1932. They are the area leaders in sexual and reproductive health care, providing contraception, cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, education and more to tens of thousands of women and men each year. Patients can make appointments online or by phone at 1-800-230-PLAN (7526).


Download this release as a PDF.

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