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For immediate release: February 22, 2019

Contact: PPRM Media Office, 303-359-8519, [email protected]

Trump Releases Final Gag Rule, Continuing Administration's Attack on Women and Families with Low Incomes and People of Color

Administration ignored four million patients whose care is at risk, and more than 500,000 opposing comments from Americans 

The rule is scheduled to take effect in 60 days

DENVER, CO — Despite mass outcry from the medical community and the American people, the Trump-Pence administration today released a final gag rule that undermines Title X, the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, and makes it illegal for health care providers in the program to refer patients for abortion care. This puts health care at risk for four million patients and keeps women from receiving information about all of their health care options.

The administration has put health care providers in an impossible position: withhold information from their patients or get pushed out of a program designed to ensure that people struggling to make ends meet can still access birth control, STI testing and treatment, lifesaving cancer screenings, and other essential reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood nationally serves 41 percent (1.6 million) of the four million people who rely on the Title X program; this rule leaves their health, rights, and lives hanging in the balance.

The rule also imposes cost prohibitive and unnecessary “physical separation” requirements on health centers that also provide abortion in an effort to stop Planned Parenthood from participating in Title X. These requirements could include forcing health centers to build separate entrances and exits, construct whole new health centers, or hire a whole second staff of doctors, nurses, and administrative staff. None of these requirements contribute to the health of patients.

Statement from Vicki Cowart, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains:

The gag rule is unacceptable. Birth Control is health care. Cancer screenings are health care. Reproductive health care is health care, and health care is a human right. And this gag rule threatens access to care for millions of people across the country. Here at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, our doors are open and we will continue to provide high-quality health care to our patients across our region, no matter what.”

The majority of patients in the Title X program identify as people of color, Hispanic, or Latino, and it’s impossible to separate this attack on their health care from the other attacks this administration has leveled on families with low incomes and people of color — such as the “public charge” rule, voter suppression, and other attempts to “defund” Planned Parenthood. For people of color, the right to bodily autonomy and quality health care has been consistently under attack throughout this country’s history — leading to huge disparities in health outcomes between women of color and white women. Dismantling Title X will limit health care options even further and worsen the massive divide that already exists in health care. In PPRM’s 4-state region: Colorado has 50,280 Title X patients, New Mexico has 22,900 Title X patients, Nevada has 10,310 Title X patients, and Wyoming has 9,790 Title X patients.

The gag rule is opposed by the medical community, public health experts, lawmakers, and the general public. When the rule was first proposed last summer, several health care organizations in Colorado came out in opposition to the rule including: Tri-County  Health Department, Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials, Colorado Children's Campaign, ACOG CO, Denver Health, Colorado, Consumer Health Initiative, Colorado,  Community Health Network. More than 500,000 Americans also voiced their opposition by submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Additionally, several Colorado state lawmakers signed on to a letter letter showing opposition to the gag rule, and John Hickenlooper, the governor at the time, also opposed the rule.

Major medical associations like the American Medical Association, National Medical Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, and others stand against this rule. In addition, more than 200 members of Congress and 100 public health organizations have come out in opposition to a gag policy.




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.