On May 22, the Trump Administration released language for a proposed rule that would prohibit healthcare providers and organizations receiving Title X family planning funding from the federal government from performing, promoting, referring for, or supporting abortion services, or from taking any actions to assist a patient in getting an abortion.
The proposed regulation states that the one exception would be if a patient “clearly states that [they have] already decided to have an abortion.” In this situation, a provider may provide “a list of licensed, qualified comprehensive health service providers (some, but not all, of which also provide abortion, in addition to comprehensive prenatal care).” This proposed regulation also states that the list cannot identify the providers who perform abortion services outright. GLMA President Gal Mayer, MD, MS and GLMA Executive Director, Hector Vargas, JD, released the following statement in response:
“The proposed rule is a blatant and politicized intrusion on the healthcare provider-patient relationship that restricts patient access to medically necessary services. All patients seeking reproductive health services deserve honest medical information and unfettered access to a complete range of medical services. This proposed rule would only serve to silence healthcare providers, forcing them to withhold important and timely family planning information, including contraception and abortion services, from their patients, and preventing them from providing the highest quality of care for their patients.
“Furthermore, this proposed rule would disproportionately affect women and transgender men living below the federal poverty line. It would also adversely impact lesbian and bisexual teenagers, whom research has shown are twice as likely as heterosexual teens to be at risk for unintended pregnancy. This proposed regulation not only reduces access to reproductive health services, but creates barriers to care for LGBTQ patients.”