Oregon Governor Kate Brown joined 13 other governors across the country in sending a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar opposing the Trump-Pence administration’s domestic gag rule, which would make it illegal for healthcare providers to refer for abortion and impose new restrictions intended to block patients from Planned Parenthood health centers for birth control. They join the 73 percent of Americans, 200 members of Congress and 110 public health organizations who already oppose the rule.
The proposed rule, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, would do three main things:
1. Make it illegal for doctors, nurses, hospitals and community health centers across the country that participate in the Title X program to refer their patients for safe, legal abortion.
2. Impose new restrictions designed to make it impossible for patients to get birth control or preventive care from reproductive healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood.
3. Remove the guarantee that people are getting full and accurate information about their health care from their doctors. For decades, Title X law has been clear: Health care providers cannot withhold information from you about your pregnancy options. This rule means they can.
Governor Brown joined with other governors to condemn the gag rule and urged its withdrawal.
May 31, 2018
The Honorable Alex Azar
Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Dear Secretary Azar:
As governors representing 90 million Americans, we are deeply concerned with this Administration’s plan to undermine women’s health and place sweeping new restrictions on reproductive healthcare providers across our country.
For more than 40 years, Title X has been an important partnership between the federal government and states that
has been supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. This dangerous proposal would suspend decades of bipartisan cooperation, taking away women’s healthcare through trusted medical providers like Planned Parenthood and eroding their access to comprehensive, medically accurate information. We strongly urge you to reconsider this plan, which is nothing more than a domestic “gag rule” that poses serious risks to women’s health.
We stand with women and men in our states by rejecting this Administration’s efforts to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, gut women’s access to family planning services and force medical professionals to knowingly withhold information from their patients. If the federal government breaks its commitment to states in the Title X program, we will react in kind and do what is necessary to protect the health of our constituents. We call on all Americans to actively and aggressively oppose this proposed action. And if this reckless policy is finalized as written, we will have no choice but to explore all possible avenues, including legal options, to block it from harming the women in our states.
Our voices will be heard on this damaging proposal, and we are prepared to match our words with action. We strongly urge you not to undermine the important work that Governors and administrations of both parties have done for decades to support women and families through Title X. We will continue to consult with our states’ Attorneys General, state legislatures, and state health agencies to stop this rule from harming the millions of women we are sworn to protect.
Governor Katherine Brown
Fourteen other governors from around the country also signed this letter to the Trump Administration.