PROTESTS SWEEP THE NATION IN RESPONSE TO TRUMP'S GAG RULE
For Immediate Release: Aug. 22, 2019 (Updated: Aug. 22, 2019, 11 a.m.)
After the Trump Administration forced Planned Parenthood out of the Title X program, activists call on Congress to act
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott joins seven other states in announcing they’ve been forced out of Title X due to Trump’s dangerous domestic gag rule
WASHINGTON, DC — This week, Planned Parenthood supporters are mobilizing across the country in protest of President Trump’s move to force Planned Parenthood and other providers out of Title X, the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. Reproductive rights activists and supporters are holding more than 50 events across the country, calling on their members of Congress to take action and block the dangerous gag rule.
Meanwhile, an eighth state made clear the gag rule will force them out of the program. Earlier this week, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said, “It’s important that we maintain women’s rights and access to health care...Vermont joins Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts and Maryland in foregoing Title X.”
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, Acting President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
It’s clear the American people don’t want President Trump’s cruel and dangerous gag rule. From Alaska to West Virginia, California to Maine, people are lifting their voices, asking their members of Congress to act now to stand with Planned Parenthood and protect birth control for millions. People are fed up with this administration trying to score political points with their health care.
“This gag rule will disproportionately impact rural areas and communities of color. Despite the Trump administration’s best efforts, Planned Parenthood’s doors will remain open for patients, and we will never be bullied into withholding information from them. We will continue to stand up and fight back against the cruel gag rule — no matter what — because our patients deserve to have accurate, quality health care.
Activists across the country are pushing back against this dangerous gag rule to send a clear message that Congress needs to act now. Supporters are organizing rallies, speakouts, and petition deliveries in St. Louis; Akron, Ohio; Yakima, Washington and across Minnesota and Pennsylvania. In addition, healthy neighborhood canvasses are engaging the community and those impacted by Title X in Washington, Maryland, and Vermont. Members of Congress are also taking action to highlight the harms of Title X through patient roundtables and health center visits, including Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Susan Wild, David Trone, Sean Casten, and Sens. Sherrod Brown and Maria Cantwell. Supporters are mobilizing in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, and West Virginia to engage voters at community events, to share their stories in local newspapers, and hosting meetings and parties to share with their communities how this cruel rule will hurt health care access for millions of Americans like them.
Planned Parenthood plays an essential role in the Title X program, serving approximately 40 percent of the 4 million patients who get care through Title X health centers — that’s more than 1.5 million patients. In many communities, Planned Parenthood is the only provider of affordable reproductive health care, or the only provider that offers specialized care like on-site IUD services or the birth control shot. People who can’t find or can’t afford another reproductive health care provider may be left with nowhere to turn, or go without birth control altogether.
The medical community, public health experts, and the general public are against this 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 and 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.
For the press release announcing Planned Parenthood being forced out of Title X, click here.
Already, the harm of the gag rule is reverberating in communities across the country:
- SF Chronicle: Editorial: Planned Parenthood takes stand for women’s health options
- WITF (PA): Planned Parenthood of Western Pa. loses nearly $400,000 in Title X funding
- Charleston (WV) Gazette: Planned Parenthood withdraws from Title X funding
- Alaska Public Media: Alaska’s Planned Parenthood chapter withdraws from federal family planning program
- The Oregonian: Oregon clinics reject federal funding to continue to provide information on abortion
- Rutland (VT) Herald: Vermont says 'yes' to Planned Parenthood, 'no' to Title X
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.