The Trump administration wants to block all federal family planning funding to health centers that provide abortions or abortion referrals, which would eliminate contraceptive and preventive care for millions of women. Learn about the proposed rule, offer a public comment, and demand that state and federal legislators halt their attack on women’s rights.
Under a rule announced Tuesday by the Trump administration, any health center that provides abortions or abortion counseling would lose its Title X federal family planning funding. The new rule would require facilities receiving Title X funds to be physically separate from those that perform abortion and would institute a “domestic gag rule,” banning clinicians from referring some patients to safe, legal abortions. The rule would also eliminate an Obama-era rule requiring clinicians to give women information on all reproductive health care options. More than 4 million adults–most low-income women–receive contraceptive care, wellness exams, screenings for cancer and sexually transmitted diseases, and other preventive care at Title X-funded health clinics. In Maine, more than 22,000 men, women, and teens receive Title X services administered by Maine Family Planning (MFP). MFP operates 18 clinics around the state and subcontracts with Planned Parenthood of New England, which serves women in southern Maine. Some say the domestic gag rule is a direct attack on Planned Parenthood, which provides contraceptive care nationwide to more than 40% of patients covered by Title X. Although many Planned Parenthood clinics and other centers that receive Title X funding provide abortions or abortion referrals, Title X funds have never been used to pay for abortion services. Maine Attorney General Janet Mills joined other Democratic attorneys general in filing amicus briefs in a Planned Parenthood lawsuit against the Trump administration to block the gag rule. A public comment period on the proposed rule change is open until July 31.
- Submit a public comment opposing the gag rule. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is accepting public comments from individuals and organizations. See the talking points below and submit yours here before the July 31 deadline!
- Planned Parenthood is collecting letters of opposition to the domestic gag rule that will be entered into the official record when the public comment period opens. Use the talking points below and submit yours here.
- Contact your members of Congress (see below for contact info) and tell them to speak out against the administration’s attacks on women’s health care and take legislative steps to protect Title X funding.
- Join MFP’s Twitter Chat about what the Gag Rule means for Mainers on July 24 at 1 PM. Follow @FPAMaine to be a part of the conversation.
- Find out where candidates stand on abortion access. The Trump administration’s attacks on abortion rights makes this year’s state and federal elections all the more important. Maine Family Planning offers a list of questions that will help you see where candidates stand on the issue of abortion access.
- Use #NoGagRule on social media and share these graphics from NARAL, Planned Parenthood, Suit Up Maine, and Maine Family Planning.
- If you have received reproductive health care from a family planning clinic, are a health care provider, social worker or advocate, include in your comments how Title X services have improved your life and/or the lives of your patients or clients. And share how your life and the lives of others will be harmed if Title X funding is restricted.
- The domestic gag rule will disproportionately harm low-income individuals: 80% of Mainers who receive Title X-funded care qualify for free or reduced-fee services.
- In 105 counties, Planned Parenthood is the only full-service provider of publicly funded contraceptive care.
- According to the Guttmacher Institute, Title X-funded clinics helped women prevent 1.2 million unintended pregnancies in 2010, preventing an estimated 400,000 abortions.
- Without the services provided by Title X-funded clinics, the U.S. unintended pregnancy rate would be 35% higher and the rate among teens would be 42% higher.
- The Trump administration claims other community health centers could take on Planned Parenthood’s patients, but administrators at those centers say they already have too many patients.
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