If the Trump administration’s final “gag rule” is implemented, more than 4,100 people in Oakland County will be left without access to reproductive health care and affordable birth control provided through the federal Title X program, Planned Parenthood of Michigan and Oakland County officials announced today at Planned Parenthood’s Ferndale health center.
“We are committed to providing compassionate, high quality health care to people in communities throughout Michigan,” said Lori Carpentier, Planned Parenthood of Michigan President and CEO. “None of the rule changes released by the Trump administration improve the quality of care for patients or make it easier for them to access the services they need. None of these changes were made with the patients in mind – they were made solely to harm organizations like Planned Parenthood. But it’s our patients who will feel the impact most.”
The rule undermines Title X, the federal program for reproductive health care and birth control and makes it illegal for health care providers in the program to refer patients for an abortion. In Michigan, this endangers the care of the more than 42,000 patients who accessed care at Planned Parenthood of Michigan in 2018 through the Title X program.
“Title X has been an incredible success: rates of unintended pregnancy in the U.S. are the lowest they’ve been in 30 years and teenage pregnancy rates are also at a historic low,” said Congressman Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Twp. “If we want to go backwards and lose all the progress we’ve made, these rule changes are a great way to make that happen.”
Planned Parenthood of Michigan is one of 30 Title X providers in the state and serves nearly 70 percent of all Title X patients. In many counties – including Oakland County – Planned Parenthood of Michigan is the only Title X provider. There is no other option for the high quality reproductive health care and affordable birth control that Title X providers guarantee.
“There is no replacement for Planned Parenthood,” said Oakland County Board of Commissioners Chairman Dave Woodward, D-Royal Oak. “These rule changes put care out of reach for the more than 4,100 people who came to Planned Parenthood in Oakland County for birth control, STI tests and cancer screenings, and allow unethical crisis pregnancy centers to stand in for actual medical care. That’s simply unacceptable.”
This rule is opposed by the general public, the medical community, lawmakers, and public health experts. When the rule was announced, more than 500,000 Americans voiced their opposition by submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Major medical associations like the American Medical Association, National Medical Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, and others stand against this rule. In addition, more than 200 members of Congress and 100 public health organizations have come out in opposition to the rules.