On April 25, 2019, a federal judge issued a nationwide injunction against the Title X gag rule. The Guttmacher Institute issued this press release with helpful information and updates:
Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2019 5:35 PM
To: media <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: BREAKING: Nationwide Injunction Against Dangerous Title X Gag Rule Announced by Federal Judge
Today, a federal judge in Washington has issued a nationwide injunction against the entirety of the Trump administration’s Title X gag rule! The injunction is effective immediately. Our experts will review the written ruling as it becomes available.
We are relieved the court has recognized the potentially devastating harms of the domestic gag rule and stopped its implementation while litigation proceeds.
Even with today’s important ruling, we remain deeply concerned about the serious threat the Trump administration’s ideologically motivated changes pose to the integrity of the Title X program, and to the health and well-being of people who turn to Title X–supported providers for high-quality family planning care.
Guttmacher’s robust resource guide with relevant background and analyses is here: Title X Under Attack—Our Comprehensive Guide
Statement from Guttmacher Institute Senior Policy Manager Kinsey Hasstedt
“The potential harm of the domestic gag rule is enormous. We are relieved the court has recognized the potentially devastating harms of the domestic gag rule and halted its implementation. While litigation against the administration continues, the injunction helps protect access to essential health care for the 4 million people who rely on the Title X program for family planning services every year.
“As litigation around the domestic gag rule proceeds, we hope that this court and others around the country will recognize just how dangerous and harmful this policy is, and permanently block it from going into effect.
“The Title X gag rule is part of a much broader agenda by the Trump administration and its allies to undermine people’s reproductive health and rights, and to impose a socially conservative worldview on all of U.S. society. At its heart, the domestic gag rule is blatantly coercive and a violation of medical ethics and patients’ rights.”
Background on the Domestic Gag Rule:
- On March 4, 2019, the Trump administration published in the Federal Register a final rule making changes to the federal regulations governing the Title X national family planning program.
- Despite wide-ranging opposition to the rule when it was first proposed in June 2018, the administration finalized its proposed rule with relatively minor changes and clarifications. Such disregard for the potential harm to providers and patients underscores that this rule is intended not to advance individuals’ reproductive health and well-being, but rather to serve as a key component of the Trump administration’s broader ideological agenda.
- If fully implemented, the rule would impose coercive standards of care on patients, subvert the nationwide network of family planning providers that Title X supports, and diminish access to affordable care.
- Coercive counseling: The rule eliminates Title X’s long-standing requirement that all pregnant patients be offered nondirective pregnancy options counseling and referral, including information about parenting, adoption and abortion. Eliminating this requirement summarily dismisses the evidence-informed clinical recommendations for providing high-quality family planning care that govern Title X—a move that defies medical standards and logic. The rule also expressly prohibits abortion referrals.
- Subverting the nationwide provider network: The rule is designed to fundamentally shift the composition of sites supported by Title X in a number of ways, including: forcing providers that offer abortion using non–Title X funds from the program, and encouraging participation from entities that do not provide an adequate package of patient-centered family planning services.
- Reducing, not increasing, access to care: Taken together, the rule’s changes threaten patients’ voluntary choice of contraceptive methods—despite the administration’s claims to the contrary.