Press Releases

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today led 15 Democratic women colleagues in urging President Trump to abandon his efforts to undermine the Title X family planning program by excluding medical providers who provide women with the full-range of reproductive health care.

The senators wrote to the president: “You have said repeatedly that government should not get between patients and their doctors. We agree – the government should not have a role in the decisions between women and their doctors, including about reproductive health care. Imposing a “gag order,” as described by the American Medical Association, on medical professionals will prohibit Title X providers from giving patients full information. Further, removing requirements within the Title X program that family planning services be medically sound opens the door for federal funds to be funneled to fraudulent entities that give patients false information and misleading advice.”

In addition to Senator Feinstein, the letter is signed by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).

Full text of the letter follows:

June 27, 2018

The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Trump,

We write to urge you to reverse course on actions detrimental to women’s rights and health. The latest move by your Administration to alter the Title X family planning program to ban certain health providers, including Planned Parenthood providers, undermines a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health care decisions.

You have said repeatedly that government should not get between patients and their doctors. We agree – the government should not have a role in the decisions between women and their doctors, including about reproductive health care. Imposing a “gag order,” as described by the American Medical Association, on medical professionals will prohibit Title X providers from giving patients full information. Further, removing requirements within the Title X program that family planning services be medically sound opens the door for federal funds to be funneled to fraudulent entities that give patients false information and misleading advice.

Not only would the rule block access to information for the four million people who rely on Title X each year, but it would also explicitly target Planned Parenthood—a critical health care provider in communities across the country, particularly in underserved areas. Planned Parenthood health centers see 2.4 million patients every year, providing critical medical services that include cancer screenings, HIV and STI testing, and the full range of contraceptives. They serve 41 percent of Title X patients nationwide. Women trust Planned Parenthood health care providers to offer high-quality care that is compassionate and respectful of each individual woman’s decision regarding the medical care that is best for her and her family. An estimated 430,000 unintended pregnancies and 140,000 abortions are prevented each year by the services offered through Planned Parenthood health centers.

The overwhelming majority of Americans oppose actions like the domestic gag rule and support patients being able to get their health care through Planned Parenthood providers and other reproductive health care providers, regardless of their form of health insurance.

It is a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own decisions about her own health care. We urge you to abandon efforts that would allow politicians in Washington, D.C. to further interfere with women’s rights and access to health care.

Sincerely,

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