WASHINGTON — Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Trump administration forcing Planned Parenthood grantees out of the Title X program — the nation’s only federal program dedicated to providing affordable birth control and other reproductive health care to people with low incomes. The Trump administration’s abhorrent and unethical domestic gag rule undermined reproductive health care for millions of people across the country, by demanding health care providers in the program withhold information about abortion from their patients. It also imposed cost-prohibitive and unnecessary “physical separation” restrictions on health centers that also separately provide abortion.
Prior to the implementation of the gag rule, Planned Parenthood health centers served about 40% of the 4 million patients who got care through the Title X program each year. The majority of Title X patients identified as people of color, Hispanic, or Latino. In many communities, Planned Parenthood is the only source of reproductive health care. Barring patients from seeking care at Planned Parenthood health centers has left many with nowhere else to go — community health centers themselves said they couldn’t fill the gap. Recent data from the Guttmacher Institute highlights how the gag rule has reduced the Title X family planning system’s capacity to provide contraceptive services by at least 46% — drastically reducing care at the same time the country is facing a global pandemic. The vast majority of people oppose this cruel rule.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“The Title X gag rule is a cruel and vicious policy designed to take away access to reproductive health care like birth control and lifesaving cancer screenings, by forcing safety net providers like Planned Parenthood out of the program. On the one-year anniversary of Planned Parenthood and other grantees being pushed out, we must remind policymakers that the impact has been felt most by people already struggling to make ends meet. The gag rule has particularly harmful impacts on people who have always faced systemic barriers to health care — including those in rural areas, as well as Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the systemic racism that permeates all levels of our health care systems. And it is all the more clear today why health care should never come down to how much you earn, where you live, or who you are. The Trump administration may have forced Planned Parenthood providers out of the program, but we will never back down from fighting for our patients."
Last week, the Blueprint for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice released First Priorities, a detailed punch list of executive and agency actions for the opening days of an incoming administration. Among other urgent actions named in the First Priorities, the broad coalition called for initiating the process of rescinding the domestic gag rule within 45 days.
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.