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Planned Parenthood

was forced out of Title X, the nation’s program for affordable birth control, by the administration’s dangerous gag rule — threatening birth control and other reproductive health care for millions

The Title X gag rule prohibits providers in Title X from giving patients information about how and where to access abortion. Call your senator to protect Planned Parenthood patients and stop the gag rule!

Why It Matters

  • The Trump-Pence administration keeps trying to block access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers, which serve more than 2.4 million people each year  — including many who have nowhere else to go for basic health services.

  • Since coming to power, the administration has tried to shut down Planned Parenthood in every way possible — in presidential budgets, health care reform bills, tax reform legislation, and federal resolutions and regulations, as well as in nominating anti-Planned Parenthood judges and appointing anti-Planned Parenthood officials. 

  • The administration also has repeatedly and consistently targeted Planned Parenthood as part of its propaganda — including speeches, ads, and the Republican Party platform. 

  • The bulk of the administration’s actions against Planned Parenthood are attempts to “defund” it. “Defunding” means blocking people who use government health programs, like Medicaid and Title X, from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers.

Related Players

Mike Pence

Vice President of the United States

Elected to Office: 11-8-2016
Jeff Sessions

Former U.S. Attorney General (DOJ)

Resigned: 11-07-2018
Alex Azar

Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Nominated by Trump: 11-13-2017
William Barr

U.S. Attorney General (DOJ)

Nominated by Trump: 1-3-2019
Diane Foley

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs (HHS)

Appointed: 5-29-2018
Valerie Huber

Senior Policy Advisor at the Office of Global Affairs; Former Senior Policy Advisor for the Assistant Secretary for Health (HHS)

Appointed: 6-6-2017
Katy Talento

Former Special Assistant to the President, White House Domestic Policy Council

Resigned: 6-1-2019
March Bell

Chief of Staff for the Office of Civil Rights (HHS)

Appointed to post: 4-15-2017
Matthew Bowman

Principal Advisor at the Office of Civil Rights, Former Deputy General Counsel (HHS)

Appointed to HHS: March 2017
Roger Severino

Director of the Office of Civil Rights (HHS)

Appointed: March 2017

How We Got Here & Where We're Headed

  • What to expect next
    Congress could vote on a bill with language that can stop the gag rule
  • 9-23-2019
    The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which let the gag rule take effect, heard oral arguments from a lawsuit filed by 21 states, the District of Columbia, and several health care providers (including Planned Parenthood).
  • 8-19-2019
    Trump Administration forces Planned Parenthood out of Title X
  • 6-19-2019
    House of Representatives passes major pro-reproductive health spending bill that would block the Title X gag rule if it gets passed by the Senate and signed by Trump
  • 3-18-2-19
    Trump proposes his FY2020 budget, which targets Planned Parenthood for a third time
  • 3-5-2019
    Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Association sue the Trump administration to block the Title X gag rule
  • 2-22-2019
    Trump issues gag rule to block Title X patients from care at Planned Parenthood
  • 2-12-2018
    Trump proposes his FY2019 budget, which targets Planned Parenthood for a second time
  • 1-19-2018 
    Trump administration encourages states to prevent patients with Medicaid from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers
  • 5-22-2017 
    Trump proposes his FY2018 budget that, for the first time, singles out Planned Parenthood by proposing a ban on federal funding sources 
  • 4-15-2017 
    Anti-Planned Parenthood activist March Bell becomes a Civil Rights Office leader
  • 3-30-2017
    Pence casts key vote to end protections for Title X and Planned Parenthood patients
  • 1-20-2017 
    Mike Pence—first representative to try to “defund” Planned Parenthood — becomes VP

“Planned Parenthood made health care accessible and affordable when I was a poor college student.”

An Estimated 1 in 5 Women Visits a Planned Parenthood Health Center in Her Lifetime

Why the Title X Gag Rule Is So Dangerous

The administration’s most successful “defund” attack is the Title X gag rule, which forced Planned Parenthood out of the nation’s only dedicated program for affordable birth control. The gag rule endangers all 4 million people who use Title X each year for affordable birth control and other reproductive care — including over 1.5 million patients who used Title X at Planned Parenthood health centers. 

The gag rule disproportionately impacts those who already face barriers to care due to systemic discrimination in the health care system, including people of color, immigrants, young people, and the LGBTQ community.

How it works: The gag rule bans providers in the Title X program from telling people how they can safely and legally access abortion. It’s unethical to keep medical information from patients, and Planned Parenthood refuses to be bullied into unethical medical practice — so the gag rule makes it impossible for Planned Parenthood to continue participating in Title X.

Although the administration’s anti-abortion agenda drove its gag rule, the gag rule itself only effects preventive care like birth control; breast and cervical cancer screenings; and STI, UTI, and vaginal infection testing and treatment. 

Background on Planned Parenthood and the Trump-Pence Administration's Attempts to Block Patients from Care

“Defunding” Planned Parenthood

The Title X gag rule is the closest Donald Trump and Mike Pence have gotten yet to “defunding” Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood Action Blog
Planned Parenthood Is Irreplaceable

In more than 20% of the counties where Planned Parenthood health centers operate, there are no other health care providers who serve patients who need publicly funded programs. That means patients who use programs like Medicaid for health care could have nowhere to turn for basic services if they cannot go to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood Action Blog
An Agenda to Shut Down Planned Parenthood, Ban Abortion

Efforts to block patients from Planned Parenthood are part of the administration’s anti-abortion agenda — which has the goal of ultimately shutting down Planned Parenthood altogether because it provides safe, legal abortion care.

Learn More
Getting Low-Cost Birth Control at Planned Parenthood

Now that the gag rule forced Planned Parenthood out of Title X, learn how you can access high-quality, affordable reproductive health care — and how to fight for everyone who could lose access.

Planned Parenthood Tumblr
Obamacare Repeal Efforts Also Targeted Planned Parenthood

The administration supported many efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and block patients from care at Planned Parenthood.

Rewire News
Other Providers Can’t Take On Planned Parenthood Patients

Community health centers themselves say there’s no way they could fill the gap if efforts to block patients from Planned Parenthood health centers succeed.

The Egregious and Discriminatory Hyde Amendment

An unfair law called the Hyde Amendment already prohibits federally funded programs like Medicaid and Title X from covering abortion (except in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the woman’s life). Many of the administration’s tactics take aim at patients who rely on these programs. So, blocking them from Planned Parenthood health centers only takes away their access to affordable birth control, STD tests, cancer screenings, and other preventive care at their provider of choice.

Learn More
What does Planned Parenthood Do?

Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care, and is the nation’s largest provider of sex education. Planned Parenthood's services include birth control; HIV and other STD testing, treatment, and vaccines; vaginal infections testing and treatment; pelvic exams; breast and cervical cancer screenings; pregnancy testing; men's health care; LGBTQ-focused health care; emergency contraception; and abortion services and referrals.

Planned Parenthood's Services

Related Policies

The Title X Gag Rule

Title X

The Health Agenda