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Planned Parenthood: “This is the definition of a gag rule. Everyone has the right to full information. They won’t get it under this rule”

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Following the Trump-Pence administration’s statement on a proposed gag rule that would undermine Title X, the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, Planned Parenthood issued the following. 

Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

This rule prohibits doctors from telling patients where and how they can access safe, legal abortion. That’s the definition of a gag rule. Everyone has the right to full information about their health care — including full information about safe, legal abortion. And every woman deserves the best medical care and information, no matter how much money she makes or where she lives. No matter what. They won’t get it under this rule.

This gag rule would do three things: 

  1. It would impose new rules that are designed to make it impossible for patients to get birth control or preventive care from reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood. 
  2. Under this rule doctors, nurses, hospitals, and community health centers across the country could no longer refer their patients for safe, legal abortion. 
  3. It removes the guarantee that you’re getting full and accurate information about your health care from your doctor. For nearly two decades, Title X law has been clear: Health care providers cannot withhold information from you about your pregnancy options. This rule means they can. 

For example, under this rule, if a woman is pregnant and wants or needs an abortion, her provider will be prohibited from telling her where she can go to get one. Or if a woman’s pregnancy would severely affect her health — for example, she discovers that she’s pregnant after being diagnosed with cancer — her health care provider could refuse to tell her that abortion is even an option. 

This is opposed by the medical community, lawmakers, and public health experts. Major medical associations like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and more oppose this rule. When a similar version of this rule was introduced in the 1980s, it was met with tremendous outcry and opposition from the medical community. More than 200 members of Congress and 100 public health organizations have come out in opposition to a gag policy.

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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.