US Gag Rule is Increasing Attacks on Sexual and Reproductive Health

Last month, the Trump administration released a new rule which prohibits US domestic recipients of Title X funding from offering patients referrals for abortion services or providing abortion services, regardless of whether or not these services are offered through alternative sources of funding. The American Medical Association and numerous provider associations have opposed the Title X rule because it violates core ethical standards of medical practice and undermines the patient-provider relationship.

As the nation’s only federal funding program dedicated to family planning, the Title X program focuses on serving low-income Americans and reaches an estimated 4 million patients, the majority of whom identify as people of color or Latinx. For the past 50 years, Title X funding has received bipartisan support and Title X health centers are often the only provider of affordable reproductive health care, particularly in rural areas.

Planned Parenthood, which once served approximately 40% of Title X patients across the country, was forced to withdraw from Title X funding, as its organizational leadership has refused to deny its patients full information about their reproductive health options. It is estimated that nearly 50% of total Title X program providers will be similarly forced to withdraw from the program. This will drastically impact HIV testing and counseling services for low-income people in the US.

The Trump administration’s new rule is an attack on the poor, on people of color, and people living in rural communities. MPact stands in solidarity with Planned Parenthood and all recipients of Title X funding affected by this gag rule.

In recent years we have seen policymakers push a radical, unethical, anti-sexual and reproductive rights agenda, including through executive order and rulemaking. The current administration has moved to cut access to critical health care programs in the U.S. and abroad, including all funding to UNFPA’s core and humanitarian work and expanding the Mexico City Policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule. Research and data about the current expanded global gag rule point to the policy disrupting a range of health services, silencing public debate, and rolling back progress. By undermining the effectiveness of U.S. global health investments, the Global Gag Rule hinders the ability to meet U.S. global health, development and foreign policy goals.

The politicization of reproductive health programs endangers the lives of individuals and erodes their rights. Millions of people in the U.S. and worldwide stand to lose access to health care as a result of these gag rules. With fewer options for seeking health care, LGBTQ people will be increasingly marginalized.

MPact calls for a full repeal of the domestic and global gag rules and advocates for unfettered access to affordable, quality, stigma-free services for all.

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Proud to join 130+ groups to stand against both domestic and global gag rules, which could cost communities in the U.S. and around the world access to lifesaving care. Congress MUST act: protect Title X and end the global gag rule. #ProtectX #NoGagRule http://ow.ly/3xMq50w644v

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