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Pandemic has amplified gag rule’s harm — Biden-Harris administration must move swiftly to restore access to affordable sexual and reproductive health care

New Haven, CT — Today, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released proposed regulations to end the Title X gag rule. Since 2019, former President Trump’s gag rule has undermined the Title X program and denied people across the country access to affordable sexual and reproductive health care, such as birth control and life-saving cancer screenings, through the program.

The enforcement of the Title X gag rule forced Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) out of the federal family planning program. The unethical and cruel rule prohibited anyone participating in the program from telling patients how and where to access safe, legal abortion. In less than two years, the gag rule decimated patients’ access to affordable birth control, STI/STD testing and treatment, cancer screenings, and more. Due to systemic racism and injustice, the rule has disproportionately harmed people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and people with low incomes, all at a time when access to affordable preventive health care has never been more critical. 

Before the gag rule, PPSNE served more than 88% of Connecticut patients who relied on Title X funding. According to a Guttmacher report, the gag rule cut the Title X network’s patient capacity nearly in half – Rhode Island saw a decrease in 25-49% and, in Connecticut, a 90-99% decrease. Some states have no Title X providers left. 

Statement from Amanda Skinner, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England:

“This is the first step forward. Rescinding the gag rule will restore Title X's purpose: providing access to affordable birth control and reproductive health care by removing a significant systemic barrier. Now the Title X program must be expanded and modernized so sexual and reproductive health care access is a reality for ALL. We have been fighting for this and will keep fighting.

“It's time to use this moment to build back Title X, better.”