FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Arnice Cottom, 202-777-3913
Statement from Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director, American Public Health Association
Washington, D.C., Aug. 19, 2019 – The American Public Health Association is dismayed that Planned Parenthood and other health providers were forced to withdraw from the Title X program today as a result of the Trump administration’s unscrupulous gag rule. The loss of these providers from this comprehensive family planning and preventive health program will have a devastating effect on the health of the U.S. population.
“This gag rule prohibits providers from giving patients all of the information they need to make informed decisions about their health care. It also limits the information they can be given about appropriate referrals for reproductive health care. Under the rule, health providers that receive Title X funding were forced to make a difficult choice: give incomplete information and withhold important reproductive health and family planning information from their patients, or leave the program and lose needed federal funding.
“This is like giving a patient a heart disease diagnosis yet not being able to tell them where to get heart care. We support Planned Parenthood and these other health providers for refusing to mislead their patients.
”The loss of these providers from the Title X program will mean fewer people will receive much-needed health services, including maternal health care, STD screenings, HIV prevention, contraceptive counseling and reproductive health services. Regrettably, this will disproportionately affect low-income communities, which are, by law, given priority within the Title X program. The impact this will have on our most vulnerable populations will be significant.
“APHA calls on the Senate to protect crucial health care for millions of Americans by overriding the Title X gag rule. Allowing this unethical rule to take effect is dangerous to our nation’s health.”
APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public's health. Visit us at www.apha.org.