STATEMENT: Trump-Pence Domestic Gag Rule Will Upend the Patient-Provider Relationship and Prevent Women From Making Medically Informed Decisions

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Trump-Pence administration released a final rule undermining the nation’s only domestic family planning grant program, Title X. The rule targets Title X providers, including Planned Parenthood, and threatens the health and well-being of the millions of low-income women and men who currently benefit from the program. Jamila Taylor, senior fellow for the Center for American Progress’ Women’s Initiative, issued the following statement following the final rule’s publication:

This rule will devastate the Title X program as we know it by prohibiting Title X providers from providing the full range of pregnancy-related options, including abortion care. It will force providers to deny women abortion counseling or referral, severely undermining the integrity of the patient-provider relationship. It is disturbing and hypocritical to see this administration promote smaller government, and yet, when it comes to women’s health, it is quick to force itself into the exam room and dictate what providers can tell their patients.

The final rule would also require that Title X providers encourage family participation—such as by involving parents or guardians—for young people utilizing Title X services. Providers will also have to collect sensitive information about their young clients, such as the age of their sexual partners, and store that information. This breach of confidentiality will have a chilling effect on young people for whom safe and confidential care is vital. Instead, young people will most likely choose to forgo care, putting them at risk of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

More than 4 million low-income women and men—most of whom are young women, women of color, and immigrant women—access Title X programs for their family planning and related preventive health needs. Title X has saved taxpayers billions of dollars and reduced the United States’ rate of unintended pregnancies, unplanned births, and abortions. What the administration is doing today will reverse four decades of progress all to satisfy a small minority bent on curtailing women’s reproductive rights. It is an unconscionable assault on women’s rights. However, women will continue to make their voices heard and challenge the administration’s regressive policies and blatant disregard for their health.

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