The Trump administration’s domestic gag rule is already hurting women across the country. Planned Parenthood, many state and local public health clinics, and countless independent family planning clinics have been forced to withdraw from the Title X program so they can continue to provide comprehensive medically accurate guidance on reproductive health and abortion to millions of low-income patients.
In the months to come, we may begin to see the damage of this alarming policy—limited access to affordable birth control, STI treatments, cancer screenings and even the closure of some family planning clinics.
In the meantime, pro-choice forces continue to fight back against this outrageous rule: Oregon, Illinois, New York, Washington and Hawaii have refused Title X funds under the new regulations; and 19 states and the District of Columbia, Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Association are seeking a permanent injunction against it.
Independent clinics all across the country are disproportionately affected by these draconian rules. Many lack Planned Parenthood’s fundraising capabilities, and are not located in states that have additional funding to make up the loss. They are facing the very real possibility of being forced to reduce their staff, cutting back on hours and services, discarding sliding-scale payments or even closing their doors permanently.
The Trump-Pence Gag Rule punishes low-income patients and the health care professionals who serve them. We cannot allow this ruthless policy to continue to threaten Title X clinics—and we can win this by demanding that our policymakers rescind these rules immediately.