Legislation Blocks Trump-Pence Administration’s Domestic Gag Rule, Repeals Global Gag Rule, Increases Investments in Key Reproductive Health Priorities
House Committee Hearing Shines Light on Importance of Title X and Trump-Pence Administration’s Attempt to Dismantle It
WASHINGTON — Today, the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services and State and Foreign Operations spending package on a vote of 226-203, which includes critical language protecting reproductive health care in America and abroad. The passage of this bill comes on the same day as a House committee hearing to explore the importance of Title X and investigate the Trump-Pence administration’s attempts to dismantle the program and threaten care for millions of patients.
Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
Today is a victory for all who believe in the fundamental right to access affordable birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing, and access to other essential health care. On behalf of the millions across the country who rely on Title X for health care and millions more around the world counting on U.S. global health programs, we applaud our champions in Congress for blocking the Trump-Pence administration’s unethical, dangerous domestic and global gag rules and their attacks on people's health care, freedom, and rights.
While we applaud this bill’s efforts to protect and strengthen critical access to essential care in the U.S. and around the world, we are disappointed that Republicans again forced this bill to include the dangerous and unfair Hyde Amendment, which interferes with people's personal decisions and disproportionately impacts those in the U.S. who already face the greatest barriers to care. Planned Parenthood proudly stands with our reproductive justice partners who have long championed the repeal of this discriminatory policy and we will continue to fight so that every person can make decisions about their pregnancy without interference.
We now call on the Senate to follow the House’s lead and for President Trump to sign these important protections into law because people, no matter where they live, deserve more health care, not less.
This bill includes strong language blocking the Trump-Pence administration’s dangerous Title X gag rule from being implemented, which protects access to birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, and other essential reproductive health care for the more than 4 million people who receive care through Title X. Last week, the House voted 231-191 to protect this language in the bill and reject the attack on Title X.
The bill also fully repeals the global gag rule and increases funding for international family planning. The global gag rule has not only violated human rights and prevented international organizations from delivering critical health services to people most in need around the world but has undermined the U.S.’ legacy as a leader and innovator in global health. Nearly 170 diverse organizations representing domestic and global reproductive health and justice, human rights, public health, HIV/AIDS, LGBT, faith-based, environmental, maternal and child health, youth, development, academic, medical, and refugee organizations have called for an end to the global gag rule.
Today’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing, entitled “Protecting Title X and Safeguarding Quality Family Planning Care,” included testimony from health care providers and experts. Expert witnesses stressed that without Title X, many patients, especially those who are low-income, people of color, LGBTQ, immigrants, and people in underserved rural communities, would lose access to free or low-cost reproductive health care. The hearing provided a crucial opportunity for reproductive health champions to shine a spotlight on the Trump-Pence administration's many attempts to attack and interfere with Title X, such as trying to push Planned Parenthood out of the program –– even though Planned Parenthood health centers serve 40 percent of the 4 million patients who depend on Title X health centers.
Both the passage and the hearing come at a pivotal time when states are enacting an unprecedented number of abortion bans, many of which don’t include exceptions for rape or incest, could jail doctors simply for providing care (in one case for up to 99 years), and could allow the state to investigate women’s miscarriages. Already, 1 in 3 women of reproductive age lives in a state where abortion could be outlawed if Roe is overturned. That’s over 25 million people. This includes more than 4.3 million Hispanic or Latino women, nearly 3.5 million Black or African American women, more than 800,000 Asian women, and nearly 300,000 American Indian or Alaska Native women of reproductive age (see US Census).
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable healthcare 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.