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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

Help us keep up the fight to ensure all patients can get the health care they need — no matter what.

Why It Matters

  • The Trump-Pence administration repeatedly tried 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.

  • During its time in power, the administration 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  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 were 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

What to expect next: The Trump-Pence administration’s attacks on Planned Parenthood and stacking of the courts could embolden state politicians to continue the attacks at the state level.

  • 11-23-20
    The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allows Texas and Louisiana officials to remove Planned Parenthood from their Medicaid programs

  • 2-24-2020
    The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules against Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the American Medical Association — voting to uphold the Trump-Pence administration’s dangerous gag rule on Title X, the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care
  • 1-22-2020
    Trump administration approves Texas program that excludes Planned Parenthood health centers — an unprecedented decision that undermines core provisions of the Medicaid program and blocks access to care

  • 12-16-2019
    Republican leaders in Congress block protections in the 2020 government spending bill that would have ended the Title X gag rule and the global gag rule

  • 9-23-2019
    The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which let the gag rule take effect, hears 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
  • 3-18-2-2019
    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 — the nation's first representative to try to “defund” Planned Parenthood — becomes vice president

“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

Title X Gag Rule: The Trump Administration’s Biggest ‘Defund’ Attack

The Trump administration’s most successful “defund” attack was the Title X gag rule. This policy forced Planned Parenthood out of Title X, the nation’s only dedicated program for affordable birth control.

In particular, the Title X 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 previously used Title X at Planned Parenthood health centers. 

  • 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. 

  • Bans providers in the Title X program from telling people how they can safely and legally access abortion. 

  • Makes it impossible for Planned Parenthood to continue participating in Title X because keeping medical information from patients is unethical and Planned Parenthood refuses to be bullied into unethical medical practice.

Although the Trump administration’s anti-abortion agenda drove its Title X 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. 


While the Title X gag rule is the most far-reaching, nationwide attack on Planned Parenthood, the administration also made a big move toward “defunding” Planned Parenthood in Texas — and it’s a move that could have national consequences. See our “Greenlighting Texas’s Backdoor ‘Defund’” entry below to learn more. 

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 were part of the administration’s anti-abortion agenda — which had the goal of ultimately shutting down Planned Parenthood altogether because it provides safe, legal abortion care.

Planned Parenthood Issue Page
Getting Low-Cost Birth Control at Planned Parenthood

Learn how Planned Parenthood patients could access high-quality, affordable reproductive health care in the wake of the Title X gag rule.

Planned Parenthood Tumblr
Greenlighting Texas’s Backdoor “Defund”

On the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in January 2020, HHS decided to let Texas receive federal Medicaid funding for a state program that blocks patients in the program from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood and other health centers that also provide abortion. This move upended longstanding federal law. In the past, the federal government refused to fund state Medicaid programs that aimed to take away the right of Medicaid patients to get care from the reproductive health care provider of their choice. 

Planned Parenthood Blog
Obamacare Repeal Efforts Also Targeted Planned Parenthood

The Trump 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 pregnant person’s life). Many of the administration’s tactics took aim at patients who rely on these programs. So, blocking them from Planned Parenthood health centers only took away their access to affordable birth control, STD tests, cancer screenings, and other preventive care at their provider of choice.

Planned Parenthood: About the Hyde Amendment
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


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