The Administration’s Gag Rule is Now in Effect, Impacting Idahoans and People Across the Country
BOISE — Today, in order to meet the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)-imposed deadline of August 19, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI) has withdrawn from the Title X program as not to comply with the unethical gag rule, and put at risk affordable birth control and reproductive health care that has contributed to our record low teen pregnancy and abortion rates.
Title X is the nation’s only dedicated program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. The gag rule makes it illegal for any provider in the Title X program to tell patients how or where to access abortion, and imposes cost-prohibitive and unnecessary “physical separation” restrictions on health centers that provide abortion –– moves that are clearly meant to push Planned Parenthood health centers and other reproductive health care providers out of Title X. Planned Parenthood health centers serve 40 percent of the four million Title X patients, and have been a part of the Title X program since its inception in 1970.
Statement from Chris Charbonneau, CEO of PPGNHI:
“Planned Parenthood is being defunded from the Title X program. This program is critical to the thousands of people in our region and the millions across the country who rely on Title X health centers for cancer screenings, HIV tests, affordable birth control, and other critical primary and preventive care. We refuse to comply with this unconscionable rule that gags our providers and withholds information from our patients. We will continue to fight this administration because everyone deserves the fundamental right to health care and our government should be focused on expanding health care access, not restricting it.”
Congress is also looking to take long-term action to protect Title X. In June, the House of Representatives passed a spending package including strong language blocking the Trump-Pence Administration’s Title X gag rule from being implemented. Now, the Senate must push for a spending bill that includes protective language to make sure millions of people can continue to access health care through Title X.
PPGNHI serves nearly 900 people in Idaho through the Title X program. Community health centers themselves say there is no way they could fill the gap. This could put affordable health care out of reach for many underserved communities, including communities of color and rural communities.
Planned Parenthood is not the only direct grantee that will be forced out under the Trump Administration’s unethical gag rule—in total, the gag rule would force providers that serve nearly half of all Title X patients out of the program.
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands is the region's leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. The organization operates 27 health centers in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, and Western Washington and provides medical services and sexuality education for thousands of people each year. Planned Parenthood is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and relies heavily on charitable donations to ensure our patients' ability to determine their own destinies and receive the health care they need.