WASHINGTON, DC — An en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit refused to block the Trump-Pence administration from enforcing the dangerous Title X gag rule. Title X is the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, which serves 4 million people each year. The Clergy Advocacy Board of Planned Parenthood Federation of America condemns the Trump-Pence Administration’s dangerous Title X gag rule that makes it illegal for doctors, nurses, hospitals, community health centers, and any other provider in the Title X program to tell patients how they can safely and legally access abortion.
This gag rule also would make it impossible for millions of patients to access birth control at Planned Parenthood health centers across the country.
“As clergy leaders, we see this as an attempt to impose one set of religious views into the private lives of Americans. This is bad for women, families, and public health. A rule like this imperils access to basic health care especially for people struggling to make ends meet -- the people for whom the Title X program was designed to make reproductive health care services accessible, and who already find it hard to get the medical attention they need.
“We, The Clergy Advocacy Board condemn this gag rule. It brings politicians into the exam room, impairing access to accurate and complete medical information, undermining the patient’s moral agency, harming the poor and those in need, and for blocking access to preventive health care, including contraception.
“We are called as clergy and faith leaders to provide pastoral care to people facing medical decisions. Day in and out, we witness the importance of how our congregational members get or don’t get the help they need, the medical information they need, the benefit of the doctor-patient relationship, and access to the care that arises from these personal, private deliberations.
“Our faiths and pastoral experience also bear witness to the urgency and moral good in available access to all forms of contraception, and in keeping abortion safe and legal.”
Background on the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Clergy Advocacy Board:
Building on the long history of faith leaders taking an active role in reproductive health care, the Clergy Advocacy Board has been working with Planned Parenthood at the national and state levels to further the goal of full reproductive rights and freedom for all women and men for more than two decades. Its members, who are dedicated clergy and faith leaders from different denominations and communities throughout the U.S., lead a national effort to increase public awareness of the theological and moral basis for advocating reproductive health.
Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s leading providers and advocates 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.