Why the Domestic Gag Rule Is Bad News

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Originally published as "Why the Domestic Gag Rule Is Bad News," The Hill, September 3, 2019.

On July 15, the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to the Title X family planning program went into effect – and one month later, Planned Parenthood clinics, which together serve about 40 percent of all Title X patients, withdrew from the program en masse. The new rules prohibit providers and staff in Title X-funded clinics like Planned Parenthood from performing some of their core functions: referring patients for abortion, and receiving funds to provide services like cancer and STI screenings while using non-federal funds to finance abortion. Instead, the rule mandates referral for prenatal care and social services like infant or foster care or adoption – effectively denying patients comprehensive counseling about pregnancy options.