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Ninth Circuit Denies Emergency Relief from Domestic Gag Rule

Ninth Circuit Denies Emergency Relief from Domestic Gag Rule

An en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit today refused to block the Trump-Pence administration from enforcing the dangerous Title X gag rule.

Title X is the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, which serves nearly 50,000 Oregonians each year. Trump’s gag rule makes it illegal for healthcare providers in the Title X program to refer patients for abortion, and it blocks access to care through the program at Planned Parenthood by imposing cost-prohibitive and unnecessary “physical separation” requirements. Planned Parenthood will continue its efforts to restore the nationwide preliminary injunction and fight to protect health care for nearly 4 million patients across the country.

Providers that serve nearly half of the patients who get care through Title X have made it clear that the rule would force them out of program. Title X helps millions of people struggling to make ends meet — the majority of whom are people of color, Hispanic or Latino.

Statement from Lisa Gardner, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon, and Anne Udall, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette:

“This is devastating news for the millions of people who rely on Title X for birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing and other critical primary and preventive care. While we are incredibly concerned the panel did not recognize the harm of the Trump-Pence administration’s gag rule, we will not stop fighting for the thousands across the state in need of care. Planned Parenthood will keep fighting to block this dangerous rule that allows the government to censor our doctors and nurses from doing their jobs. Our health centers are open and are continuing to offer our full range of expert care, as always.”

Four district court judges had previously blocked the rule, with two judges blocking it nationwide. On June 20, the 9th Circuit granted the request from the Trump-Pence administration to stay the preliminary injunctions in Oregon, Washington and California, which allowed the gag rule to be enforced. The 9th Circuit agreed to rehear the administration’s request for a stay on July 3. Today’s order makes clear that while the court is rehearing the request for the stay, the stay remains in place, jeopardizing the care of millions of people who access birth control and other reproductive health services through Title X.

In June, the House of Representatives passed a spending package including strong language blocking the Trump-Pence administration’s Title X gag rule from being implemented. Now, the Senate must push for a spending bill that includes protective language to make sure millions of people can continue to access health care through Title X.

It is still unclear when the U.S. Health Department will begin officially enforcing the rule, and Planned Parenthood is monitoring the situation closely. More background and information on the gag rule and the litigation can be found here.

The medical community, public health experts and the general public are against this rule. In addition to the American Medical Association, the gag rule has been opposed by major medical associations, like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Physicians, as well as 110 public health organizations and public health experts such as former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy. A group of 19 different medical organizations, mayors, state lawmakers, more than 200 members of Congress, newly elected Democratic governors and several other governors have opposed this legislation as well.

Posted on July 11, 2019 in News.
 
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Ninth Circuit Denies Emergency Relief from Domestic Gag Rule

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