Statement on the 9th Circuit decision about the Title X Gag Rule
Update: On 2/24/20, the 9th Circuit, having already let the Title X Gag Rule go into effect during a decision period, overturned lower court injunctions on the gag rule and allowed it to become law.
The 9th Circuit Court has joined the war on young people, people of color, low income families, and all those who need quality reproductive health care with Thursday’s decision to allow the Trump Administration’s Title X Gag Rule to take effect.
In May 2018, the Trump administration released a proposed rule that essentially dismantled Title X, the nation’s federal family planning program designed to provide affordable reproductive health services to those in need, including youth and young adults. The administration followed it with a rule that will make it impossible for patients to get preventive care at Planned Parenthood, which until now has served 41 percent of the 4 million people who have benefited from the Title X program, and establishes an abortion “gag rule” that prohibits health clinics with Title X funding from educating about, referring patients to or providing abortion care. In short the rule removes the guarantee that patients at Title X clinics receive full and accurate information about their reproductive and sexual health.
When the Trump administration released this proposed rule, nearly 500,000 people submitted comments opposing it, including over 500 young people from Advocates’ Youth Activist Network who shared their own personal stories about accessing healthcare. But none of that matters to a President bent on harming young people for political expediency. And with the 9th Circuit buying into this agenda, access to reproductive and sexual health care, including abortion care, is gravely at risk.
This ruling is the latest in a series of outrageous attempts to decimate reproductive health care in this country. From renewed federal funding for abstinence-only until marriage programs, to weakened regulations regarding employer coverage for birth control, to the President’s irresponsible rhetoric on abortion later in pregnancy, the legislative restrictions enacted in seven states to impose near-total abortion bans, and the expansion of the global gag rule already in effect, we are witnessing the dismantling of gains made in gender equality and all people’s right to bodily autonomy.
“What the Trump Administration started, and the 9th Circuit has upheld today, is a shameful dereliction of society’s duty to ensure that all people—and especially all young people have what they need to stay healthy and protect their futures. Young people are working to move this country forward, not backward, and they won’t tolerate these constant attacks on reproductive and sexual health care services.”