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Planned Parenthood Considering Options Ahead of August 19 HHS Deadline

WASHINGTON — Moments ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied a request by Planned Parenthood to block the Trump administration’s unethical Title X gag rule ahead of an HHS-imposed August 19 deadline.

Planned Parenthood will spend the weekend evaluating all of its options and announce next steps on Monday.

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, Acting President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

Trump’s administration is trying to force us to keep information from our patients. We refuse to cower to this president. The gag rule is unethical, dangerous, and we will not subject our patients to it. We are considering all of our options — the Trump administration is recklessly putting birth control and reproductive health care for millions of people at risk.

The Trump administration is asking all Title X grantees to comply with the gag rule by August 19, or else they will be forced out of Title X, the decades-old bipartisan program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. The gag rule makes it illegal for health care providers in the Title X program to tell patients how or where to access abortion. The rule also imposes additional burdensome “physical separation” restrictions meant to push reproductive health care providers out of the program. Planned Parenthood, along with a number of other grantees, including seven states and the only Title X grantee in the state of Maine, have all made clear that they would find it impossible to comply with the gag rule and still provide quality, ethical medical care.

Planned Parenthood plays an essential role in the Title X program, serving more than 1.5 million patients. In many communities, Planned Parenthood is the only provider of affordable reproductive health care, or the only provider that offers specialized care like an IUD or the birth control shot. The impacts of the Title X gag rule will be widespread and community health centers themselves say there is no way they could fill the gap. People who can’t find or can’t afford another reproductive health care provider may be left with nowhere to turn.  

Planned Parenthood is not the only direct grantee who will be forced out under the Trump-Pence administration’s unethical gag rule—in total, the gag rule would force providers that serve nearly half of all Title X patients out of the program. So far, five governors (HI, IL, NY, OR, WA) have made clear that they could not participate in the Title X program if the gag rule was implemented, two state legislatures (MA and MD) have passed laws to that effect, and the only Title X direct grantee that serves the state of Maine has made clear they would not participate in Title X under the gag rule. In total, these eight states and Planned Parenthood health centers collectively serve 47 percent of the Title X patients in the United States.

The medical community, public health experts, and the general public are against this rule. In addition to the American Medical Association, the gag rule has been opposed by major medical associations, like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, as well as 110 public health organizations, and public health experts such as former U.S. surgeon general Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, and many others. A group of 19 different medical organizations, mayors, state lawmakers, over 200 Members of Congress, newly elected Democratic governors, and several other governors have opposed this legislation as well.


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


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