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“Politicians want to gag health care professionals’ ability to provide honest, comprehensive health care.” 

Washington DC — Last week, it was reported that the Republican Study Committee — at the suggestion of the Family Research Council — is taking the radical step of urging the Department of Health and Human Services and the Trump-Pence administration to impose a "domestic gag rule" on reproductive health care providers in the United States. A domestic gag policy would strip any provider who discussed abortion with their patients or or referred their patients for abortion of Title X family planning funding. This would be a radical departure from how health care has operated thus far in the United States.

In addition to preventing any provider from even mentioning abortion to a patient, a domestic gag rule could block Title X patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers and any other providers who are co-located with providers that offer people with the full range of reproductive health care services. Planned Parenthood serves 41 percent of Title X patients, and blocking access to Planned Parenthood’s services would hurt patients in many communities, especially in rural areas where there are already significant barriers to care.  

Statement from Dana Singiser, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

A domestic gag policy is extreme and would put women’s health and lives at risk. Politicians want to gag health care professionals’ ability to provide honest, comprehensive health care. These politicians are pushing for “a domestic gag rule” that would force doctors to keep information from women, putting their health at risk. Bottom line: This will keep women from getting information about all of their options. Even introducing the idea of a domestic gag shows how little concern these politicians have for the health and rights of women.

Title X is the only federal grant program dedicated to providing family planning and basic preventive care including birth control, STI testing and treatment, and life-saving cancer screenings to people who are uninsured or underinsured, or who have low incomes. Every year, Title X providers serve more than four million women, men, and young people who depend on this program for basic health care. If extreme politicians had their way, these funds would be stripped from any health care provider that even talked to their patients about abortion — whether or not they provide the procedure themselves.   

Out of the four million patients that Title X serves, more than half are women of color: Twenty-one percent of all Title X patients identify as Black or African American, and 30 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino. Dismantling the program and using it to prevent women from getting care at Planned Parenthood will mean that women — disproportionately women of color — will be forced to go without care.

A new poll released today by the Public Religious Research Institute shows that there is bipartisan agreement from nearly two-thirds of Republicans and three-fourths of Democrats that elected officials are spending too much time on abortion rather than focusing on other issues.

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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.