STATEMENT: Trump-Pence Domestic Gag Rule Will Deprive Millions of Women Access to Full Range of Health Care Services

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Trump-Pence administration will issue yet another policy change that would deny women access to much-needed health care services and infringe upon their reproductive rights. This executive order will derail the Title X family planning program, leaving millions of women without access to affordable family planning and reproductive health services.

This executive order gags all Title X providers from speaking about or giving referrals for abortion. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which serves about 40 percent of all Title X patients, is specifically targeted for defunding—a move that would devastate the entire Title X provider network.

Jamila Taylor, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement ahead of the signing ceremony:

For almost five decades, Title X providers have played a critical role in delivering family planning and reproductive health services, particularly to low-income women, immigrant women, young women, and women of color. That’s why this executive order—a domestic gag rule—is so disturbing. As a result of this change, millions of women will be deprived of access to the full range of health care services and information needed to make the right reproductive decisions for themselves and their families. While their anti-woman agenda has been clear from day one, President Trump and Vice President Pence have shown the American people yet again that they are willing to do whatever it takes to attack and curtail women’s health, rights, and justice.

As the Center for American Progress has previously written, Title X is the only federal program focused solely on providing people with critical family planning and reproductive health services, including physicals, prescription drugs, lab tests, contraception, and referrals. Research shows that, without Title X funding, the number of unintended pregnancies, unplanned births, and abortions each year in the United States would be 66 percent higher than they are today.

A domestic gag rule was originally instituted by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 and was eventually struck down under new regulations issued by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Over the past 10 years, U.S. teen pregnancy rates have plummeted by a whopping 51 percent, in large part due to better access to and uptake of affordable contraception. This return to gagging Title X providers will only serve to stifle this progress and hold women back from meeting their full potential.

Related resources:

For further information or to connect with a policy expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at cseeberger@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6292.