Recent Articles
This area does not yet contain any content.
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.
Navigation
« More Trump sabotage of our health care! | Main | Trump is politicizing the Census! »
Thursday
Jun072018

It’s more than a gag rule!

Trump’s Title X rule is much more than a gag rule

It’s bad enough that the Trump administration’s proposed Title X family planning rule would require clinics to relocate abortion services elsewhere, at considerable expense, or lose federal funding. It’s bad enough that the rule would “gag” clinic staff, preventing them from directly referring patients elsewhere for abortion care. But that isn’t all Trump’s rule would do.  

It’s much more than a gag rule! In a series of articles in this weekly newsletter, and through social media postings, Raising Women’s Voices will walk you through the multiple ways in which the proposed rule would undermine and interfere with low-income patients’ access to desperately needed reproductive health care. We will also explain how you can speak out against this harmful rule within the 60-day public comment period that started June 1 and ends July 31.


 
This week’s focus: Trump’s rule instructs Title X providers to offer intentionally confusing information if a patient requests an abortion referral. Under the rule, the provider could only give out a list of health care providers that includes both those that do provide abortion care and those that don’t. The list wouldn’t identify abortion providers in any way. The patient would have to figure out where to go.

For a patient who hasn’t clearly stated “that she has already decided to have an abortion,” her Title X provider would only be allowed to share a list of providers who don’t offer abortion care, including prenatal care providers. In fact, the proposed rule requires Title X clinics to refer this type of pregnant patient (those who haven’t specifically asked for an abortion) to prenatal and/or social services and to assist with setting up the referral appointment “to optimize the health of the mother and unborn child.” 

These requirements would exacerbate the impact of existing state- and federal-level abortion restrictions that already make it difficult for patients — especially those under 18, those with low incomes and women of color — to obtain timely abortion care. In many states, particularly in rural areas, finding a nearby abortion provider can be very challenging. Targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws, such as hospital admitting privilege requirements and building standards, have led to clinic closures across the country. With fewer clinics providing abortions, more women must travel longer distances for abortion care. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 27 percent of women aged 15-44 would have to travel at least 30 miles. They face extra financial hardships, such as paying for transportation, overnight accommodations, childcare and lost wages from missed work (if they don’t have paid sick time). And these are just the costs associated with getting to the clinic. 


Insurance coverage restrictions -- such as the Hyde Amendment (which restricts federal funding for abortion except in cases of life endangerment, rape and incest) -- increase the out-of-pocket costs for the abortion itself. Waiting periods (which require women to wait 18 to 72 hours between her pre-abortion consultation and the actual procedure or medication process) can further complicate the challenges of obtaining a timely abortion. All these barriers and built-in delays could push a woman beyond her state’s gestational limit for abortion, making it no longer an option.

Trump’s rule and the deliberately confusing health care provider list would create another hoop for women to jump through to exercise their constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion.

What can you do now? Today is the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut decision that legalized the use of birth control by married couples (unmarried people got this right later).  It’s a perfect time to speak out against the proposed rule, which would undermine Title X family planning programs!

We’re joining the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPHRA) in a social media “thunderclap” today at noon to mark the Griswold anniversary. Get on Twitter and raise your voice, too! Urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor and support resolutions H.Res.915 in the House and S.Res.526 in the Senate that would make clear that the proposed Title X restrictions would erode the patient-provider relationship and prevent patients from receiving care.
 
Court orders Maine Governor to expand Medicaid

On Monday, the Maine Superior Court ruled that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services must follow the voter-approved Medicaid expansion law. Maine DHHS must also submit a State Plan Amendment.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has been a long-time opponent of Medicaid expansion and has refused to implement it, despite voters approving it last November. The LePage administration now has a deadline of June 11 to comply.

Consumers for Affordable Health Care, our regional coordinator in Maine, Maine Equal Justice Partners, Maine Primary Care Association, Penobscot Community Health Care and five individuals together sued the Maine Department of Health and Human Services in late April.

Under the law, starting July 2, about 70,000 Mainers can sign up for Medicaid under the expansion. Maine advocates are prepared to file another lawsuit if the state doesn't start accepting applications from eligible Mainers on July 2nd.

 

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>