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Federal court in Oregon will protect access to care

WASHINGTON — Today, immediately after oral arguments, a federal district court judge in Oregon announced that he will issue a preliminary injunction to block the Trump-Pence administration’s gag rule on Title X, the nation’s only program dedicated to affordable birth control and reproductive health care. In March, Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Association filed suit challenging the gag rule for being illegal, unethical, and threatening the health care of millions of people who rely on Title X health centers. The gag rule — which would have gone into effect May 3 — would bar providers from giving their patients complete information and block care at Planned Parenthood, even though Planned Parenthood serves approximately 40 percent of Title X patients. When people can’t see their provider of choice or cannot access a Title X provider at all, they delay or simply go without care.

Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

This is a victory for patients and doctors in this country. Because of this, our patients across the country can still access the life-saving health care, like cancer screenings and STI treatments, they need through Title X, our nation’s only program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. However, while this is a victory for patients and doctors, this relief is preliminary and we will continue to fight the Trump-Pence administration in court and in Congress to ensure our patients’ health and rights are protected.

The case, which was filed in the United States District Court in Eugene, Oregon, was brought by the American Medical Association, Oregon Medical Association, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, Thomas N. Ewing, M.D and Michele P. Megregian, C.N.M. Planned Parenthood is being represented by attorneys from Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the law firms of WilmerHale and Stoel Rives. It seeks to protect the Title X program and guarantee that people receive full, unbiased information about their health care options — a right that has been repeatedly affirmed by Congress.

Since 1996, Congress has mandated, annually, that patients receiving information about their pregnancies through Title X must receive “nondirective” counseling. And in 2010, Congress went even further, mandating that HHS cannot impose rules, precisely like the gag rule, that create unreasonable barriers to care, that interfere with doctors giving their patients a full range of options, that restricts the ability of health care providers to disclose all relevant information to patients making health care decisions, or that violates the ethical standards of health care professionals. The gag rule blatantly violates Congress’ mandate by forcing doctors to withhold information from their patients and imposing unreasonable barriers to care.  

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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.

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