Abortion Care Network’s statement on the dangerous and unjust proposed domestic “gag rule”
Today, the Trump administration made public their plans to implement a domestic “gag rule” that would bar family planning clinics receiving Title X funding from referring patients for abortion care, supporting abortion as a family planning option, or sharing space with abortion care providers.
Title X is the only federally-funded program that allows community-based clinics to provide affordable contraception and preventive reproductive health services, including birth control, STI testing, and cancer screenings. Under the proposed rule, clinics that continue to refer patients for abortion care, support abortion care as a health care option, or share space with abortion care providers will no longer receive the Title X funding that allows them to provide preventative care to their communities. Providers who accept Title X funds, in turn, would be barred from offering their patients the full range of information and resources that medical ethics demands.
Threatening to withhold affordable healthcare from entire communities in order to restrict abortion care is an unethical ultimatum and a blatant attempt to interfere in patients’ personal decision-making.
This is a ransom no patient, provider, or community should ever have to pay.
By definition, attacking the Title X program disproportionately negatively impacts our most vulnerable community members, including rural communities, uninsured and under-insured people, women of color, young people, indigenous communities, people experiencing incarceration, and people struggling to make ends meet. Not only would it prevent Americans from accessing essential reproductive care, it would devastate the healthcare landscape for the millions of Title X patients for whom these clinics represent their primary or only source of healthcare.
In many parts of the country, Title X family planning providers — including independent abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood — are the only accessible option for reproductive health care of any kind.
Everyone should be able to seek care they can trust with the provider of their choice — wherever they live, however much they earn, and however they are insured.
Millions of people trust and value these health care providers precisely because they know they can count on them for comprehensive care, trustworthy referrals, and medically accurate information. No one should be barred from receiving the trusted medical care they need from a qualified provider because of political ideology.
The proposed rule undermines the very purpose of the Title X family planning program, which is to provide comprehensive, preventative reproductive health care to those who are struggling to make ends meet. Playing politics with these essential health services — and therefore people’s lives — is unjust and means millions of Americans may not get the essential health care services they need.