Gag Rule Press Release

Updated: Jul 18, 2018

Trump-Pence Administration Introduces Nationwide Gag Rule


SisterLove, Inc. Opposes Proposed Rule that Would Make it Illegal for Health Care Providers to Refer for Abortion and Impose New Barriers for Low-Income People Seeking to Access Comprehensive Reproductive Health Care and More


Background:

Washington, DC/ Atlanta, Ga.-- Earlier this week, the Trump-Pence administration released a nationwide gag rule, marking a radical departure from how health care has operated in the United States to date. The proposed rule, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services but not yet posted to the Federal Register, would make it illegal for doctors, nurses, hospitals, and community health centers across the country that participate in the Title X program to refer their patients for safe, legal abortion. The Nationwide “Gag Rule” has never been implemented in the United States before.


Atlanta based SisterLove, Inc, (SLI), the oldest women-centered HIV and sexual/ reproductive health organization in the Southeastern United States, stands firmly with Planned Parenthood and other health centers across the United States in opposition to this latest assault to women’s health rights.


“We approach our advocacy as a matter of human rights and reproductive justice. Applying a reproductive justice lens allows us to conceptualize policy issues and innovate community-based solutions to crucial topics from the grassroots up.” said Sequoia Ayala, J.D., SLI’s Policy and Advocacy Program Manager. “Women deserve the right to make their own health decisions armed with accurate medical information. The current decision by the Trump administration is catastrophic for women’s health.”


Here’s a breakdown on what the Gag Rule and Title X will mean:

● What you need to know about the Gag Rule.

  • o Removes the guarantee that all patients get full & accurate info about our medical options & prohibits referrals for safe, legal abortion

  • Removes the requirement that Title X projects provide access to all 18 FDA-approved contraceptive methods

  • Eliminates reproductive health care for the 41% of people who use Title X services at Planned Parenthood, many of whom are LGBTQIA+, Hispanic or Latinx, Black, and/or have limited proficiency in English

  • Expands the definition of “low-income” to include women whose employers deny health insurance for their birth control, in an attempt to close the gap in care caused by the administration’s 2016 rule on insurance coverage of birth control


MEDIA BRIEF


What you need to know about Title X.

  • Provides federal funding for affordable birth control and reproductive health care o Exists to ensure that every person — regardless of where they live, how much money they make, their background, or whether or not they have health insurance — has access to basic, preventive reproductive health care, such as birth control, HIV and STI testing and treatment, cancer screenings, and wellness exams

  • Serves 4 million people each year, most of whom are Black, Hispanic, and Latino folks who face significant health challenges due to systemic inequities such as racial and ethnic bias

  • Is a decades-old program that has continually received bi-partisan support and the support of medical associations who now stand with us in opposition to the gag rule.


Additionally, several organizations are pointing out that the domestic gag rule could have a devastating impact on people at-risk for and living with HIV in the United States. Following the Trump administration’s reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule, many of the most effective and trusted health care providers have been forced to forgo funding if they refuse to abide by the rule’s restrictive demands, the global gag rule threatens people’s access to essential health services, including contraceptive and maternal and newborn health care. Although different in many ways, the domestic gag rule is motivated by the same ideological agenda—an agenda that, jeopardizes members of communities that face mounting barriers and discrimination that impede access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care, including HIV prevention and education. With so many gains having been made toward ending the epidemic, the gag rule has the potential to severely inhibit the movement to eradicate HIV/AIDs which would seriously affect patients’ lives. “People should not have to choose between receiving no care or sub-quality care.” Ayala said. “The domestic gag rule is an inequitable interference in the reproductive freedom of people’s reproductive decision-making—and we won’t stand for it.”



### About SisterLove Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, and with offices in South Africa, SisterLove, Inc.’s (SLI) mission is to eradicate the impact of HIV and sexual and reproductive oppression upon all women, their families, and communities locally and internationally. Established in 1989, SLI was the first organization in the US South to explicitly focus on the needs of Black women living with HIV (WLHIV) and other communities disproportionately impacted and least recognized in direct services, research, and advocacy in the HIV epidemic. SLI utilizes some interdisciplinary human rights, harm reduction, and Reproductive Justice (RJ) approach to its direct services (testing, counseling, sex education), community mobilization and support among WLHIV, and its Policy and Advocacy Program (PAP).




SisterLove

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