Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
WASHINGTON – Donald Trump hates free speech – particularly when it comes to women’s health – and his administration has issued its long-awaited rule that bars groups that provide abortion care or abortion referrals from receiving federal family planning funds. Defunding providers and denying girls and women access to information about legal medical options has been a top priority of opponents of women’s reproductive health care.
This “gag rule” prevents medical professionals from talking to their patients about health care options, including safe, legal abortions – forcing health care providers to choose medical malpractice or lose funding. It is designed to prop up faith-based, science-denying “family planning centers” otherwise known as crisis pregnancy centers, that lie to women about abortion.
The “gag rule” is a first step towards the religious right’s goal of repealing Roe v. Wade. Safe and accessible health care – including access to abortion – is a human right. This is a sneak attack on the Constitution, which the Supreme Court has ruled protects abortion rights—and a direct attack on women’s health care providers, especially Planned Parenthood. They are at risk of losing the critical funding they need to provide services to more than a million people who are the most vulnerable since they are part of our nation’s uninsured and low-income communities.
NOW supports the court challenges that will be filed to block this rule, and we stand in solidarity with Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide front-line reproductive care to women.
Donald Trump can’t stop the truth from being told, and he can’t silence us from speaking out. The “gag rule” must be overturned.
NOW Press, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-628-8669