Thousands of people rally on the National Mall before the start of the 44th annual March for Life January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. The march is a gathering and protest against the United States Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

 

Iowa’s attorney general has recused himself from representing the state in a lawsuit challenging its new controversial abortion law because he personally disagrees with the statute.

Earlier this month, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed legislation, dubbed “the heartbeat bill,” which would prohibit doctors in the state from performing an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected. Critics have pointed out that the legislation would effectively ban abortion at six weeks and before a woman is aware she is pregnant.

The new statute prompted Planned Parenthood and ACLU of Iowa to file a lawsuit in the state court challenging the law, according to a news release.
“This abortion ban is beyond extreme,” said legal director for ACLU of Iowa Rita Bettis in the statement. “With it, Iowa politicians have tried to ban virtually all abortions for women in our state. In the 45 years since Roe, no federal or state court has upheld such a dangerous law.”
In a letter, Solicitor General Jeffrey Thompson said that Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller’s decision to disqualify himself “is based on the Attorney General’s determination that he could not zealously assert the state’s position because of his core belief that the statute, if upheld, would undermine rights and protections for women.”
In an email, Brenna Smith, the press secretary for the Iowa governor’s office, said they will instead be represented by the conservative, anti-abortion law firm Thomas More Society “at no cost to taxpayers.”
“We knew there would be a legal fight, but it’s a fight worth having to protect innocent life,” Smith said.
Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood’s executive vice president, applauded Miller’s move to step aside in the case.
“We commend Attorney General Tom Miller for standing up for a woman’s right to control her own body, and decide for herself whether and when to become a parent,” Laguens said in a statement. “Not only is this ban blatantly unconstitutional, it’s also extremely harmful to women.”
Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/15/politics/iowa-abortion-policy-lawsuit/index.html

Every May, the nation turns its attention to teen pregnancy prevention for a full month. National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month (NTPPM) highlights the historic declines in the rates of teen births in the United States. Significant declines have occurred in all 50 states and among all racial/ethnic groups, yet disparities continue.

Want to get involved? You and you organization can make a difference, whether you have two minutes, two hours, or two days to devote to supporting NTPPM. Below are resources, tools, and ideas to fit any budget or amount of time. To join the conversation, be sure to follow #NTPPM on Twitter! exit disclaimer icon

Past NTPPM Events

Feeling nostalgic about past TPP months? Check out these resources from last few years:

2017 NTPPM Events

2016 NTPPM Events

  • Webinar: Get Involved – Check out the webinar slides to get tips and ideas from experts in the field and partners for how to participate in NTPPM all month long.
  • #NTPPM Twitter Chat – Read the Storify of the #NTPPM 2016 chat exit disclaimer icon. The Twitter Chat was hosted by OAH and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
  • Digital Town Hall Webinar – Check out the slides and transcript – PDF from the webinar, which shared the results and successes from the OAH TPP Program and discussed the importance of a continued focus on teen pregnancy prevention.

Information about the OAH TPP Program

Quick Facts

  • There were 20.3 teen births for every 1000 females ages 15-19 in 2016.
  • The teen birth rate in the United States is at a historic low, but it remains higher than the rate in many other developed countries.
  • Teen birth rates differ substantially by age, racial and ethnic group, and region of the country.
  • Birth rates are higher among Hispanic and black adolescents than among their white counterparts.
  • While Hispanics still have a higher teen birth rate than their black and white peers, there has been a substantial decline in recent years.
  • Read more on the Trends in Teen Pregnancy section of the OAH website.
  • Check out OAH’s Reproductive Health Fact Sheets for national- and state-level data.

Source: https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/news/teen-pregnancy-prevention-month

In these ‘abortion deserts,’ state lawmakers make it as difficult as possible for women to have the procedure

iStock
Pro-choice supporters in front of the U.S. Supreme Court after the court, in a 5-3 ruling in the case Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, struck down a Texas abortion access law.

Abortion was legalized in the U.S. in 1973, but whether women have access to the procedure depends largely on where they live, reproductive rights advocates say.

Some 27 cities in the United States have been labeled “abortion deserts” — zones in which people need to travel more than 100 miles each way to reach an abortion facility. The Midwest has the highest number of “abortion deserts” while the Northeast has the lowest number, a study from a reproductive health research group at the University of California, San Francisco found.

The actual procedure is just part of the cost for women seeking abortion, said Lindsay Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the National Network of Abortion Funds, which raises money for women to get abortions. As the majority of women seeking abortion already have children, having to travel long distances for the procedure means they must either bring their children with them or factor in child care costs. “Most people who are facing one barrier to abortion are facing more than one,” Rodriguez said.

Barriers to abortion have increased in recent years, said Alice Cartwright, project director at Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) and the lead author of the study. As of May 1, state legislatures have passed 15 abortion restrictions in 2018 and introduced another 1,252 provisions affecting reproductive health, according to the pro-choice reproductive health think tank the Guttmacher Institute. Between 2011 and 2015, there were more than 3,000 unplanned births in Texas alone related to in-state abortion clinic closures.

Abortion is often not covered by health insurance or Medicare and can cost anywhere from $0 (if covered) to more than $3,000. The average cost of an abortion was $470 in 2009, according to the Guttmacher Institute. “In the last five to seven years, because of restrictions that have been passed, clinics have been closing and access to abortion has decreased,” Cartwright said.

Some 90% of U.S. counties do not have an abortion provider, the UCSF researchers said. People living in Rapid City, South Dakota had the furthest to travel for an abortion, at 318 miles. The state with the least access to abortion was Texas, which had 10 of the 27 abortion deserts. Other cities on the list include Columbia, Mo., Green Bay, Wis., and Fort Wayne, Ind.

Distance is one of many barriers to abortion, in addition to cost, which women cite as the biggest hurdle. Nearly half of Americans do not have the funds to cover a $400 emergency and 20% of Americans do not have a savings account.

Women who seek abortions and are unable to obtain them are significantly more likely to experience financial hardship, an analysis published in the American Journal of Public Health found. They are four times more likely to have a household income under the federal poverty line and three times more likely to be unemployed.

Source: https://www.marketwatch.com/Story/these-are-the-27-us-cities-where-abortion-is-not-accessible-2018-05-15?&siteid=yhoof2&yptr=yahoo

A recent study published by the University of California San Francisco’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) research group highlighted America’s “abortion deserts” and how they affect people seeking to terminate unwanted pregnancies. The study, which was published in theJournal of Medical Internet Research on Monday, reported that there are 27 “abortion deserts” in the country — a term used to refer to cities where the lack of abortion facilities may force people to travel over 100 miles to get abortion services.

Although there were 780 abortion centers in the United States, these facilities were not evenly spread throughout the country, the study found. ANSIRH’s project director and one of the main authors behind the study, Alice Cartwright, tells Bustle that the purpose of conducting the study was to understand how Americans navigate the “intersection of digital health and reproductive health.”

“More and more these days, it’s [about] going on Google and searching for ‘abortion clinic’ or something like that,” she says. “We wanted to model what it would look like for the average person searching online.”

The study’s conclusions paint a deeply troubling picture of reproductive health care and access in the United States. For instance, ANSIRH’s research says that Texas has the highest number of abortion deserts than any other American state. With 10 cities that lack abortion facilities, the Lone Star State seems to be particularly challenging for people who may be seeking abortion care.

Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

“It really demonstrated to us that there are huge swaths of the country where people have to travel so far that they may just decide that the barriers of getting to an abortion clinic are [high] — they can’t overcome them,” Cartwright says. “So, they may choose to carry the pregnancy to term and parent that pregnancy when they may have preferred to have an abortion.”

Texas’ case of abortion deserts has been studied over the past few years. In 2015, the University of Texas’ Texas Policy Evaluation Project reported that the waiting time for people seeking abortion services in Texas had shot up to 20 days in places like Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin due to state-level restrictions on abortion care.

The study also dug into regional abortion facilities and reported that the American Northeast region had the highest number of options, with 233 abortion centers spread over nine states. In contrast to the Northeast, America’s Midwest has the lowest number of abortion centers with only 92 facilities dotting a total of 10 states.

The ANSIRH paper also noted that North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Mississippi were the six states with only one abortion center in each.

Alice Cartwright@cartwrightalice

So excited to share my first first-authored paper. We used a systematic online search to describe the abortion facility landscape in the U.S. and document the 27 cities that are 100 miles or farther from an abortion facility: http://www.jmir.org/2018/5/e186/ 

Identifying National Availability of Abortion Care and Distance From Major US Cities: Systematic…

Background: Abortion is a common medical procedure, yet its availability has become more limited across the United States over the past decade. Women who do not know where to go for abortion…

jmir.org

Abortion deserts affect the day-to-day lives of the people seeking abortion services, including having to arrange for day care if they already have children, taking time off from their jobs, preparing for more than one appointment, and paying for travel expenses. Cartwright highlights the intricate detail that goes into such travel and how it impacts people, especially those who are working-class. “What does it actually for someone to travel even five miles? Or 10 miles? They might have to get on three buses or take a train to a bus,” she says.

ANSIRH’s research was published shortly after the reproductive health research organization Guttmacher Institute released research in January that reported there had been 400 state laws targeting abortion services between 2011 and 2017, contributing to abortion centers shutting down across the country.

Perhaps with ANSIRH’s study, the hold that abortion deserts have on people can be understood — and mitigated. “This is the first time that we have done [this research] in such a systematic way,” Cartwright says. “I definitely hope that we continue this methodology annually.”

Source: https://www.bustle.com/p/what-is-abortion-desert-one-researcher-explains-the-lengths-people-must-go-to-for-care-9078143

© Francis Rivera

Abortion and access to it, is a protected constitutional right. Throughout the country people recognize that fact and a clear majority of Americans want to keep it that way. This week, health care providers, state advocates, faith leaders and other concerned Americans from dozens of states will gather in Washington to make clear they want lawmakers to protect abortion access by supporting legislative solutions like the Women’s Health Protection Act.

The renewed effort comes as states are passing harmful abortionrestrictions at historically high rates, while a hostile White House is hastily finding ways to chip away at our fundamental reproductive rights. The courts have offered some protection, overturning or blocking egregiously unconstitutional state laws.

But President Trump has been vocal about his commitment to undermining the rule of law by appointing Supreme Court justices who would ignore the settled precedent of Roe v. Wade and erase Americans’ fundamental right to access abortion.At a time when abortion access is under attack on multiple fronts, reproductive rights advocates must fight back using all options available — from strategic legal challenges to proactive federal legislation. It’s not only the right thing for women, it’s also an idea the American people firmly support.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle tend to treat abortion rights like a deeply controversial issue. That does not in fact reflect the national climate. A poll released by the Center for Reproductive Rights confirmed what other polls have consistently shown: that seven in 10 Americans favor upholding Roe v. Wade, which first recognized access to legal abortion as a woman’s constitutional right.

The poll — conducted as a nationwide online survey from 1,877 voting-age American adults (18+) — also revealed that six in 10 Americans see efforts by lawmakers to restrict a woman’s access to abortion as “a step in the wrong direction.”

A strong majority (81 percent) want elected officials to be proactive in prioritizing women’s health; more than half support the kind of safeguards built into the Women’s Health Protection Act.

First introduced in Congress in 2013, the Women’s Health Protection Act is critical to securing abortion access. As federal legislation, it would protect the legal right to abortion in every zip code and prohibit restrictions that make access to safe and legal abortion care expensive and difficult.

These findings are the just the latest in a growing body of research that shows Americans overwhelmingly support keeping abortion legal and accessible no matter their personal beliefs. Yet lawmakers appear committed to defying both the constitution and this public consensus.

And it’s not just public opinion that demonstrates broad support for abortion access. It’s what women actually decide to do when their health and lives are at stake. One in four women in the United States will make the decision to end a pregnancy. These are women from across the political and religious spectrum, from all parts of the country.

Yet attempts to take their power to decide away continue. States are working overtime to cut off abortion access, quietly passing more than 400 abortion restrictions since 2011.

Many of these laws have been drafted by anti-choice organizations representing a small but determined minority. Around one-third of all such restrictions passed since the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade have come during this six-year span and the deluge shows no sign of slowing.

These laws are invasive, fact-averse and medically unnecessary — and specifically designed to work in concert with one another to create a de facto ban on abortion. Some force doctors to lie to their patients; others impose unnecessary and burdensome compliance costs designed to shutter abortion clinics, or add arbitrary delays and expenses on women seeking care to which they are legally entitled.

Lawmakers have been able to get away with such an unpopular agenda because the public remains largely unaware of the extent of the crisis. Sixty percent of the Center’s poll respondents did not know that the number of abortion restrictions has increased in the last six years — let alone at an unprecedented rate. This is by design, reflecting a pivot away from direct, national attacks on Roe to an under-the-radar strategy of quietly passing laws that gradually undermine our rights.

The consequences are grave. Most immediately, restricting abortion access prevents people – often the most poor and vulnerable among us — from receiving the medical care that they need and are entitled to by law.

Of course, there are also long-term consequences to allowing the gradual erosion of our reproductive rights, because those rights don’t exist in isolation. As the Supreme Court has noted, reproductive freedom lies at the heart of the promise of human dignity, self-determination and equality.

And while organizations like the Center for Reproductive Rights and its allies have succeeded in suing to block the most egregious abortion restrictions, litigation is a long and expensive process and the pace of these restrictions is accelerating.

It’s now up to elected officials to listen — to the advocates coming to Washington this week calling for passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act and to the rest of their constituents at home. Public support for abortion and women’s health issues is clear and the need for federal protections has never been more urgent. It’s time for politicians to stop the anti-abortion onslaught in its tracks and provide the sort of nationwide safeguards that Americans want and deserve.

The public support is there. Now it’s time for lawmakers to act.

Susan Inman is the chief counsel for federal policy & advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Source: http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/386976-more-than-400-abortion-restrictions-passed-since-2011-states-working

New abortion restrictions mock Roe v. Wade with an oddly ironic effect

Planned Parenthood supporters rally outside the Iowa State Capitol. Barbara Rodriguez/AP

If you’ve been following the news surrounding reproductive rights recently, you’d be forgiven for asking yourself whether we’re living in a world where Roe v. Wade was never decided. In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot make abortion illegal before viability – back then this meant about 28 weeks into pregnancy, now it’s about 24 weeks. And yet, in March, Mississippi passed a law banning abortion after 15 weeks. Last week, Iowa one-upped the Magnolia State, passing a law banning abortion after just six weeks. And South Carolina nearly topped both of them, coming close to passing a law banning all abortions except in the case of life threat, rape or incest. The only thing that stopped that law was a rarely successful Democratic filibuster that pushed the legislature too close to the end of its calendar. In other words, if the law had been considered earlier in the year, the state could have banned almost all abortions.

It doesn’t take a law professor to comprehend the legal problem here.

So what’s going on? Why are these states spending valuable time and resources passing clearly unconstitutional laws?

There are two main reasons these states are willfully violating the Constitution. First, there’s the simple messaging aspect. By passing these laws, the legislators who vote for them and the governors who sign them are signaling to their constituents that they are not merely a little against abortion, but are in fact extremely against abortion. They are making the naked political calculation that being extremist on this issue is a winning strategy in future elections.

That may sound crass, because, after all, couldn’t they be doing this simply because they want to stop abortion? Well, that’s certainly how they talk about their actions, but in reality, not a single person is under any illusion that these laws are going to prevent future abortions. These measures will be immediately challenged in court, and they will be found unconstitutional. And with such extreme laws, the personal politics of the judges hearing these challenges are irrelevant. They will be bound by the clear precedent of Roe, no matter how much they disagree with the decision. In other words, there shouldn’t be a single person voting for or signing these laws who believes they will stop any abortions.

That is, until these laws get to the Supreme Court. The thinking here is that by passing these measures, states like Mississippi and Iowa are forcing the issue to continue to bubble up to the courts – up to and including the Supreme Court. The logic is that, maybe the next time a given abortion case reaches the Supreme Court, new justices will have joined the bench, specifically ones who are willing to overturn Roe.

There’s nothing at all new going on here. This has been part of theanti-abortion strategy ever since Roe was decided. Again, the game is simple: Pass anti-abortion laws to keep cases in the courts while electing conservative presidents who will appoint anti-abortion justices. So far, this strategy hasn’t resulted in overturning Roe, but it has come close, and it has successfully chipped away at the abortion right, even if not getting rid of it altogether.

But what’s different with the recent state-level abortion laws is that there’s absolutely no wiggle room for lower court judges – or even Supreme Court justices who might not like Roe but do not wish to see it overturned. Requirements that women must wait 24 hours before getting an abortion, or that minors tell their parents about their decision, or that doctors tell patients about risks that aren’t supported by medical evidence – those types of restrictions are extremely burdensome for women but have been generally upheld by the courts because the justices have said they still allow a woman to eventually obtain an abortion.

But these new extreme bans in Mississippi and Iowa don’t do that. These measures are wholly unconstitutional if Roe is still nationwide law, which it is. So the end result is this: politicians express their anti-abortion bona fides and hope for lightning to strike in all of the political forces coming together at the right time to overturn Roewhile sending hundreds of thousands – even millions – of taxpayer dollars to abortion rights groups.

Yes, this is the real practical effect of these laws – conservative anti-abortion states funneling gobs of money to nonprofits whose sole mission is to keep abortion legal. How does that happen? Because the lawyers that work for these groups will immediately sue to block these laws in federal court. And under long-standing precedent that applies to all civil rights cases – not just abortion cases – when lawyers sue to block an unconstitutional law and win, the state has to pay the fees of the attorneys who brought the lawsuit, and when the lawyers work for abortion rights groups, those groups get the money.

Thus, as a result of this law, Texas faced a $4.5M bill after it shut down three-quarters of the state’s abortion clinics, North Dakota had to pay $245,000 after passing a six week abortion ban, Missouri was ordered to pay $156K after blocking a clinic’s license, and so on. These are not small sums of money that taxpayers in these states are being forced to cough up to places like the Center for Reproductive Rights, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project and Planned Parenthood.

The irony is inescapable. For the political party that likes to claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility, these almost-certainly empty efforts show that symbolically limiting women’s rights is more important than protecting taxpayer money, even when that money is being sent to organizations committed to keeping abortion safe and legal.

Source: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/abortion-laws-by-state-w520139

Trump is reportedly weighing a rule that would ban some doctors from even talking about abortion.

 

Anti-abortion protesters outside a Planned Parenthood health center in February 2017. Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

The Trump administration last year reinstated — and expanded — a rule banning family planning clinics that get aid money from the United States from performing abortions or even discussing abortion with their patients. Often called the “global gag rule,” it’s led to clinic closures and reductions in crucial services around the world. And now it might be coming to the United States.

The White House is reportedly considering a domestic gag rule that would essentially apply the restrictions of the global rule to providers that receive federal Title X funds, which help low-income patients get services like contraceptive counseling and testing for sexually transmitted infections. Such a rule would force Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health providers to either stop discussing abortions with their patients or stop receiving Title X money.

The global gag rule, also called the Mexico City policy, has been reinstated by every Republican president since Ronald Reagan established it in 1984, but a domestic gag rule was only in effect for one month, in 1992. But anti-abortion groups and members of Congress have been pushing the White House to issue its own version, which some believe could come this month.

It’s not yet clear exactly what form a domestic gag rule from the Trump administration would take. The previous attempt at one was immediately challenged in court. But reproductive health advocates say the consequences of such a move could be dire — forcing doctors to lie to patients, undermining medical ethics, and leaving low-income Americans without necessary health care.

It would also be part of a larger pattern in the Trump administration, which has moved repeatedly over the past year and a half to restrict Americans’ access to contraceptionabortion, and accurate information about their health.

Abortion opponents have been advocating for a domestic gag rule for a while. Trump is reportedly listening.

The Reagan administration issued a domestic gag rule in 1988, but it was immediately challenged in court by reproductive health groups. The case ultimately made it to the Supreme Court, which decided in 1991 that the rule could go into effect. It took effect briefly but was again blocked by a court challenge, and when President Clinton took office in 1993, he suspended the rule. That was the end of it. until now.

Anti-abortion advocates have long been pushing the Trump administration to implement a domestic version of the global gag rule. In April, Republican Reps. Ron Estes (KS), Vicky Hartzler (MO), and Chris Smith (NJ) circulated a letter in the House asking the Department of Health and Human Services to implement such a rule, according to the Hill. “The Title X Family Planning Program is in dire need of review and updated regulations that ensure program integrity with respect to elective abortion,” the letter said.

On May 1, leaders of a variety of anti-abortion groups, including the Susan B. Anthony List and the Family Research Council, sent a similar letter to HHS. “For far too long the Title X Family Planning Program has been integrated with abortion centers,” that letter stated. “It is time to act swiftly to disentangle abortion centers from the Title X network.”

The Trump administration appears to be listening. In April, a White House aide told Modern Healthcare that a new rule on Title X would be coming in early May. And according to Axios, Kellyanne Conway met with Trump in late April to urge him to cut off Title X funding to Planned Parenthood.

The White House has not responded to Vox’s requests for comment on Title X plans. But a conservative leader told Axios that if Trump failed to take action on Title X, it would be “political suicide,” given Trump’s campaign promise to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood.

The effects of the rule would go way beyond abortion

Signed into law by Republican President Richard Nixon in 1970, Title X is the only federal funding stream dedicated solely to family planning services, said Kinsey Hasstedt, a senior policy manager at the Guttmacher Institute. Funds from the program go to health centers around the country — Planned Parenthood affiliates, Health Department centers, clinics operated by hospitals, and more — to help them offer services like contraceptive care, STI screenings, and Pap tests.

Today, about 4,000 clinics get Title X funds, and they serve about 4 million patients. Title X funding is mandated to focus on patients who are low-income or uninsured, or otherwise have difficulty getting health care, Hasstedt said, and two-thirds of patients who get care through the program live at or below the federal poverty line.

Providers are already barred from using Title X funds to pay for abortions, though they can still offer the procedure if they use other funding to pay for it.

While it’s not clear what the specific details of a Trump domestic gag rule would be, reproductive health groups think it would probably bar health centers that get Title X funds from performing abortions, referring patients elsewhere for abortions, or discussing abortion as a possible option when a patient has an unplanned pregnancy.

This would put the health of low-income patients at risk in several ways, Hasstedt said. First, it would exclude from the Title X program any providers that offer abortions. These providers, which include but aren’t limited to Planned Parenthood, are more likely than others to specialize in reproductive health, Hasstedt said. They are also more likely than others “to offer really high-quality family planning services and to serve a really high volume of Title X clients,” she explained.

Planned Parenthood, for instance, operates about 500 clinics that receive Title X money, according to Axios, but these clinics serve a disproportionate share of Title X patients — around 41 percent, the group says. According to a Guttmacher analysis, if Planned Parenthood were excluded from Title X, other Title X providers would have to increase their caseloads by an average of 70 percent in order to pick up the slack. In practice, excluding Planned Parenthood and other providers could mean some patients simply go without contraceptive care, STI screenings, and other crucial health services.

Meanwhile, providers who don’t perform abortions would be barred from talking about the procedure with their patients. This would put doctors and other health care workers in a difficult position: If a patient with an unplanned pregnancy asks about her options, they’d have to omit abortion from the list. And if she asks specifically whether she can get an abortion, they’d have to say no or refuse to discuss the issue.

“This kind of attack,” Hasstedt said, “goes after people’s ability to make informed decisions about their own reproductive health care and directly undermines medical ethics.” A gag rule “would force doctors and nurses to lie to their patients across the country,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement to Vox.

The rule would essentially create a tiered system of reproductive health care, in which people with private insurance would be able to get a full range of information and services, and Americans relying on Title X would not, Hasstedt said. That system “would disproportionately harm folks who are low-income, people who are uninsured, people of color,” she added.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Physicians have also voiced opposition to a domestic gag rule. “We are deeply concerned about anticipated changes to Title X, which move away from science-based principles and erode standard of care by interfering in the patient/provider relationship,” said Hal Lawrence, the executive vice president and CEO of ACOG, on a press call last week. “We don’t need the government interfering in the exam room.”

While the contexts are different, research on the past effects of the global gag rule could offer a preview of what’s in store. The rule has forced health organizations to reduce services and close clinics around the world, according to a 2017 op-ed in the Lancet by Ann M. Starrs, the president of Guttmacher. The policy also reduced contraceptive availabilityin some areas, and may even have contributed to higher abortion rates.

A domestic gag rule, if it is released, would be part of a larger drive by the Trump administration to restrict access to comprehensive reproductive health care. That drive includes the administration’s weakening of the contraceptive coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act, efforts by the Office of Refugee Resettlement to bar unaccompanied minors from getting abortions, new rules privileging teen pregnancy prevention programs that promote abstinence, and more.

“This isn’t just about the domestic gag rule,” Hasstedt said. “This is about social conservatives’ broader, and at this point relentless, assaults on reproductive health and rights.”

Source: https://www.vox.com/2018/5/11/17319614/trump-abortion-planned-parenthood-domestic-gag-rule-title-x