Trump's Shameful Gag Rule Will Deny Millions Essential Care and Information

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

"The Trump Administration just issued a final rule on dismantling Title X, our nation’s only program for affordable birth control and reproductive care. This shameful gag rule undermines free speech and medical ethics by forcing doctors and other health care providers to withhold critical information from their patients, denying women the ability to make their own informed health decisions. It is designed to block Planned Parenthood and other abortion care providers from serving millions of women who urgently need the primary and preventive care the Title X program provides.

Women’s access to health care is inextricably linked to our autonomy, dignity and economic security. This rule constitutes an attack on women’s ability to pursue an education, get and keep jobs, support our families and function as free and equal members of society. Moreover, more than half the patients served through Title X are people of color. This rule will withhold care and information from people already subject to barriers to health care, and deepen the disparities and inequities that permeate our health care system.

Dismantling Title X is wildly unpopular. Since this rule was first introduced over 500,000 comments opposing it were submitted during the comment period. In addition more than 10,300 medical providers signed a pledge to voice their opposition to the gag rule — they know firsthand that a rule like this violates core ethical standards and undermines the patient-provider relationship, which is grounded in trust and open communication. Every major provider association -- including the American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, National Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, National Association of Community Health Centers, and more -- has publicly opposed this rule as contrary to medical ethics and damaging to patient care.

People in this country recognize the Trump administration is using a political agenda to undermine abortion care and access. This rule puts politics in the exam room, takes away critical health care and hurts the most vulnerable among us. We remain ready to continue to fight against attacks from the Trump administration and stand up for women and families. "

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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