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

“Yesterday’s ruling by Judge Michael McShane of the US District Court for the District of Oregon is an incredible victory for our patients and health care providers. Blocking the Trump administration’s so-called ‘abortion gag rule’ from taking effect on May 3 ensures patients in Connecticut and Rhode Island can continue to access life-saving care through the federal Title X program, our nation’s only program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care.

“While this is a huge win for patients and providers, it is only temporary. This preliminary injunction provides relief for Title X patients and health care providers while we continue to fight the Trump-Pence administration in court and in Congress to ensure our patients’ health and rights are protected.

“Millions of Americans rely on the Title X program for access to wellness exams, cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, birth control, and other essential reproductive health services. The Trump-Pence administration’s gag rule is a cruel, direct attack on our most vulnerable communities and anyone who can’t afford the rising costs of health care.

“If the gag rule takes effect, it will make it illegal for health care providers in the Title X program to refer patients for abortion and demand extraordinary ‘physical separation’ restrictions on any health center that provides, refers, or counsels patients on abortion. The gag rule will force providers across the country to mislead and lie to those seeking information. Because of our commitment to ethical patient care, it would be impossible for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England to participate in the program with the gag rule fully in place. We serve more than 38,000 people who rely on Title X—our patients deserve dignity, respect, honesty, and access to the health care they need.

“The Title X gag rule is unethical, dangerous, and illegal. Politicians have no right to block care from patients or regulate what medical information health care providers can give. It is clear this administration is intent on dismantling the country’s family planning program and will stop at nothing to deny people with low incomes, people of color, immigrants, and underserved communities access to essential services. Patients cannot be kept in the dark about how to access health care, including abortion.

“Health care is a human right. We applaud the US District Court’s decision, and we won’t stop fighting until we protect access to health care through Title X.”