MADISON — Today, Planned Parenthood joined the American Medical Association in suing the Trump administration to block its Title X gag rule. The gag rule makes it illegal to provide patients with information about abortion services and threatens the health care of 4 million people who receive care under Title X, the nation’s only program dedicated to affordable birth control and reproductive health care. It also includes provisions designed to specifically block care at Planned Parenthood, even though Planned Parenthood serves approximately 40 percent of Title X patients nationwide and 87 percent of Title X patients in Wisconsin.
A coalition of 21 State Attorneys General, including Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, also today filed a parallel lawsuit aiming to block the Title X gag rule from going into effect.
Statement from Tanya Atkinson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin:
“The Trump administration’s Title X gag rule is unethical and threatens the care of more than 31,000 who Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin serves under the Title X program. These patients rely on Planned Parenthood for critical preventive reproductive health care like birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment and well woman exams. No Title X funds go toward abortion care. Today’s lawsuits underscore just how egregious the gag rule is. It is unethical to withhold information from patients, and the gag rule would force Planned Parenthood out of the program. We applaud Attorney General Josh Kaul and Governor Tony Evers for taking a stand on women’s health and opposing the dangerous Title X gag rule.”
The case, which was filed in United State District Court in Eugene, Oregon, was brought by the American Medical Association, Oregon Medical Association, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, Thomas N. Ewing, M.D and Michele P. Megregian, C.N.M. Planned Parenthood is being represented by attorneys from Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the law firms of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. It seeks to protect the Title X program and guarantee that people receive full, unbiased information about their health care options – a right that has been repeatedly affirmed by Congress.
Since 1996, Congress has mandated, annually, that patients receiving information about their pregnancies through Title X must receive “nondirective” counseling. And in 2010, Congress went even further, mandating that HHS cannot impose rules, precisely like the gag rule, that create unreasonable barriers to care, that interfere with doctors giving their patients a full range of options, that restricts the ability of health care providers to disclose all relevant information to patients making health care decisions, or that violates the ethical standards of health care professionals. The gag rule blatantly violates Congress’ mandate by forcing doctors to withhold information from their patients and imposing unreasonable barriers to care.