Dear HHS Secretary Azar:
I'm writing about HHS-OS-2018-0008, President Trump's proposed "gag rule" on health care providers that participate in Title X, the nation’s family planning safety net program that serves four million people each year. If enacted, the "gag rule" would prohibit ANY Title X health care provider from referring patients for abortion or offering information about abortion. This is political interference in the patient-provider relationship at its worst.
This rule is designed to block Planned Parenthood and other abortion care providers from serving millions of women who urgently need the primary and preventive care the Title X family planning program provides. This could block the 41 percent of Title X patients who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving care, leaving them without access to essential preventive health care like cancer screenings, birth control, wellness exams, and more.
This proposed rule is an attack on women’s autonomy, dignity, economic security and health. Information about and access to reproductive and preventive health services are essential to women’s health and well-being, as well as to their ability to pursue an education, get and keep jobs, support their families, and function as free and equal members of society. This is a shameful proposed rule that would undermine the practice of medicine and jeopardize women’s access to essential health care.
I urge you to rescind the “gag rule” today!