We're expecting the administration's dangerous "gag rule" to drop any day now.
The harmful rule is designed to block people from care at Planned Parenthood health centers. We succeeded in pushing back the proposal, but the administration is moving forward with a final version.
Trump and Pence might not think you deserve care, but we do. Health care is a human right, and we won't let this stand. Planned Parenthood's doors stay open — no matter what.
Here's everything you need to know — including how you can fight back.
The Gag Rule Would Do 3 Things:
Add new restrictions designed to make it impossible
for patients to access care at Planned Parenthood health centers through the Title X program.
“Gag” health care providers in Title X by prohibiting them
from telling their patients how and where they can access abortion safely and legally — even if that’s what the patient wants, and even if withholding that information threatens their health.
Remove the Title X guarantee that patients get full and accurate information
about their health care from their doctor.
Who Supports the Gag Rule?
And their appointed officials, including:
Who Opposes the Gag Rule?
73% of Americans
More than 200 members of Congress
274 state legislators
More than 100 public health organizations
Overwhelming numbers of doctors, nurses, and other health care providers
Not to mention the 4 million people who rely on Title X each year
What are the Effects of the Gag Rule?
The gag rule makes it impossible for Planned Parenthood health centers to uphold their medical standards and provide complete, ethical, quality care through the Title X program. If the gag rule is put into effect, Planned Parenthood would have no choice but to act in the best interests of our patients and providers and refuse to participate in an unethical Title X program.
Designed to block millions of people from care at Planned Parenthood health centers
Planned Parenthood health centers serve 41% of the 4 million people who get care through Title X funding.
Blocking these patients from Planned Parenthood health centers could mean millions of people would have nowhere to go for birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, and even general wellness exams.
Harms people of color, LGBTQ people, and people in rural areas
Of the 4 million people who rely on Title X to access health care, two-thirds have incomes below 150% of the federal poverty level, and nearly half lack insurance. Because of racism, homophobia, transphobia, and other systemic barriers that contribute to income inequality, people of color, LGBTQ people, and people in rural areas make up a large proportion of people with low incomes and rely on Title X for their health care needs.
21% of people who rely on Title X identify as Black or African American, and 32% identify as Hispanic or Latino.
Nearly half of transgender people report delaying or forgoing health care because they can’t afford it.
More than half of Planned Parenthood health centers are in rural or underserved communities, where access to health care is already severely limited.
Limits our reproductive health choices
The gag rule is an attempt to weaken requirements that Title X grantees offer patients a broad range of FDA-approved and medically accurate birth control methods. As a result, it could severely limit access to birth control across the country.
The gag rule is also a dangerous barrier to our constitutional right to access safe, legal abortion. Under the rule, if someone is pregnant and wants or needs an abortion, their provider is prohibited from telling them where to get one.
Or if a woman’s pregnancy would severely affect her health — for example, if she discovers that she’s pregnant after being diagnosed with cancer — she might not learn that abortion is even an option.
Makes it harder for patients to get the care they need
We know the consequences of the gag rule because a similar dangerous measure in effect on a global scale. One of the Trump-Pence administration's very first acts in office was to reinstate and expand a "global gag rule," which bans overseas groups from receiving U.S. global health funding if they even so much as mention abortion-related services.
Evidence has shown that the global gag rule leads to increases in unsafe abortion, as well as unintended pregnancies, women dying from pregnancy-related complications, and infant and child deaths. It also leads to health center closures, which leave people with no place to go for health care.
We should be ending the global gag rule — not importing a version of it to the U.S.
Questions? Get the Facts
Kasey, physician, Alaska
“As an Alaskan, Title X is even more integral to my health care than many other citizens. Our state is divided into rural communities with limited access to health care, and Planned Parenthood is often the only provider of health services in the area. Without Title X funding, my fellow Alaskans and I simply will not have access to the care we need to survive ...”
Alto Charo, bioethicist, University of Wisconsin
“To require a provider to withhold information, and to actively mislead a patient through a lie of omission, is unethical.
It flies in the face of fundamental medical ethics and standard of care — full stop.”
Ellen, OB/GYN, Connecticut
“... This new Title X ruling is just another step in preventing women of lower incomes from getting the health care they deserve. The government is making it impossible for women’s health providers to do our job. ...Politicians have no role in picking and choosing among qualified providers ...”
"As a physician, this rule is in fundamental opposition to the oath which I have sincerely sworn. It is unethical, irrational, and most importantly a tremendous detriment to my patients. I will not be silenced. And I will continueto vote accordingly."
Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, former U.S. Surgeon General
“...The proposed rules place restrictions on doctor-patient communication that are based not on science but on personal views many patients do not share.”
Health Affairs Journal
“Under the censorship requirements, grantees would be expected not only to withhold health care information from their patients but also to provide them with incomplete, misleading, and unreliable information regarding health care options.”
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