The gag rule flies in the face of mass outcry from doctors, medical associations, public health experts, lawmakers, and the general public
The gag rule undermines Title X, the only federal program dedicated to helping people with low incomes access affordable birth control and other preventive reproductive health care — including STI services and cancer screenings.
The gag rule prohibits health care providers in the Title X program from referring patients for abortion and ends the guarantee that patients get information or counseling on all of their pregnancy options. That, together with the gag rule’s other harmful changes, would radically change the Title X program and make it impossible for sexual and reproductive health providers like Planned Parenthood to continue to participate. This puts health care at risk for 4 million patients.
While the gag rule affects every provider in the Title X program, the rule’s restrictions are specifically designed to block patients from coming to Planned Parenthood health centers. Planned Parenthood serves 41% of the four million patients who get reproductive health care through Title X. That’s more than 1.6 million patients who won’t be able to see their provider of choice, which may cause them to delay or simply go without care.
Now, the state attorney general in Washington announced he is suing the Trump-Pence administration over the gag rule for its harm to patients — particularly how the rule would keep vital health care services away from women with low incomes.
Because of historic barriers to health care, the majority of patients who get care through Title X identify as people of color, Hispanic, or Latino. The gag rule stands to worsen the already massive divide in health outcomes between women of color and white women. Imposing a gag rule also is one of many attempts by the Trump-Pence administration to take away health care and rights from families with low incomes and people of color.I Stand With Planned Parenthood — #NoGagRule
Major medical associations and nearly three-fourths of Americans oppose a nationwide gag rule. When the administration announced that it would impose a gag rule, the medical community and the American people protested in the streets and online, sending more than 500,000 public comments to the Department of Health and Human Services opposing the rule.Chicago Tribune: "Trump Bars Clinics That Provide Abortion Referrals From $286 Million Family Planning Program"
The gag rule is part of the Trump-Pence administration’s larger agenda to shut down Planned Parenthood health centers.Tracking Trump: Attacks on Planned Parenthood
After similar policies blocked patients from care at Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas, tens of thousands fewer women received care.
Without the Title X program, many patients will lose access to free and low-cost basic care.
Dismantling the nation’s only birth control program puts affordable health care out of reach for many underserved communities, including people of color, people in rural communities, and people already struggling to make ends meet.
The gag rule is unconscionable and unethical. This rule compromises the oath that I took to serve patients and help them with making the best decision for their own health.”
Dr. Leana Wen
Planned Parenthood Federation of America President
Before moving forward with the gag rule, the administration staffed its ranks with officials who are fiercely dedicated to restricting access to birth control and care at Planned Parenthood health centers. That includes Diane Foley, an anti-abortion and anti-birth control activist who Trump appointed to oversee Title X.Tracking Trump: Who Is Diane Foley?
Because of the gag rule, many people seeking health care will be left with nowhere to turn. In some communities, Planned Parenthood is the only provider of affordable reproductive health care. Without it, many patients won’t have access to free or low-cost birth control, STI screenings and treatment, and other basic care.PBS News Hour: "Why Planned Parenthood Believes Title X Rule Change Will Compromise Patient Health"
In addition to "gagging" doctors, the gag rule imposes cost-prohibitive and medically unnecessary building requirements on Planned Parenthood and other health centers that also provide abortion. These "physical separation" requirements could include forcing health centers to build separate entrances and exits; construct whole new health centers; or hire a whole second staff of doctors, nurses, and administrative staff.Self Magazine: "Here's What a 'Domestic Gag Rule' on Abortion Would Actually Mean for All of Us"