Yesterday, the Trump Administration got one step closer to restricting abortion access in the United States at the federal level.
A three-judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, covering the Western part of the United States, ruled that the federal government can block federal grant money from health care providers if they offer information about abortion or have family planning services in facilities where doctors also perform abortions.
In response, ten of the Democratic candidates running for president made statements on Twitter as of early Friday afternoon reiterating their support for Planned Parenthood and their opposition to this ruling.
This administration cannot claim to care about Americans and then deny such a basic right to half the population. This attack on health care will not go unnoticed—we won't stop fighting until we have reproductive freedom for all. https://t.co/jQdJKKP7SH
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) June 20, 2019
As Governor, I made Title X permanent in Montana. Healthcare is far too important to be used as a political football.
— Steve Bullock (@GovernorBullock) June 20, 2019
The #TitleX “gag rule” flies in the face of freedom. This decision threatens health care for millions, especially low-income Americans who depend on this funding for preventive services, primary care, and treatment. We need comprehensive, unbiased care. We must #ProtectX.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) June 21, 2019
Title X provides reproductive counseling and care to millions of women. This decision is dangerous and part of the Trump administration’s efforts to attack women’s health and eliminate access to abortion. We must fight back. https://t.co/VvU2iVhbK1
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) June 20, 2019
The Trump administration's Title X gag rule will deny access to basic reproductive health care for millions of people. I call that a violation of human rights. We will fight back. https://t.co/dy070nMk3q
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) June 20, 2019
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) June 20, 2019
This is unacceptable. Wherever they try and take away a woman’s right to choose, we will fight to defend that right.https://t.co/9OPyLM8pXH
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 21, 2019
Trump's gag rule is an attack on women, health care, & @PPFA — which serves 40% of the 4 million patients under Title X. Regardless of income, everyone should have access to reproductive health care. Fight back by making a donation to Planned Parenthood. https://t.co/KqHUVXsoIf
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 21, 2019
A federal court has just ruled that the Trump Administration's dangerous, unethical #GagRule can go into effect, gutting #TitleX. We will continue to fight this dangerous rule and stand strong with @PPact
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) June 20, 2019
This is more than just a bad ruling—it’s condoning an ugly attack targeted at women with low incomes and women of color. We’ll fight this. https://t.co/ZJsVv6wS1G
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 21, 2019
This year, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed the change to the Title X Family Planning Program. Title X recipients and the state governments of Washington, California and Oregon challenged the ruling and district courts granted the injunction that blocked the rule from taking effect.
In the official document, the court stated, “As a threshold matter, we note that the Final Rule is a reasonable interpretation of § 1008.”
The Final Rule is the DHHS proposal. Section 1008 of Title X states that funds aren’t allowed for programs “where abortion is a method of family planning.”
The court went on to say, “the Final Rule’s prohibitions on advocating, encouraging, or promoting abortion, as well as on referring patients for abortions, are reasonable and in accord with § 1008.”
Title X money has never gone toward funding abortion procedures, and many of these clinics, like Planned Parenthood, rely on Title X funding to operate and perform their other services like cancer screenings, pregnancy tests and HIV testing.
This policy has been labelled a “gag rule” by reproductive rights activists because it will prevent doctors from discussing abortion options with patients or referring them to clinics to have the procedure.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to pass a spending bill that permanently repeals both the domestic and global gag rules the Trump administration has implemented.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio retweeted Planned Parenthood’s announcement for that.
by Nikoel Hytrek