Statement from PHS’ CEO & President, Lisa David: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on February 24, 2020 to stay, or set aside, the preliminary injunctions calling to block the Trump administration’s enforcement of its gag rule on Title X funding. This means the federal government will continue its unnecessary and unethical policy that bars Title X recipients from providing patients with the full scope of available family planning options and prohibits abortion referrals.
This decision threatens the health of low-income communities and young people across the country. PHS chose to reject Title X funding, because it would require us to compromise the comprehensive care we provide. While we are not bound by the gag rule, we are not immune to the consequences of this decision. Reproductive health resources will be strained and access to care limited as long as the gag rule is in place, contributing to a number of poor health outcomes, including higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies.
The 9th Circuit had an opportunity to freeze the rule and return the power of health care decisions to patients, not politicians. The decision to stay the injunctions is not the outcome we wanted, but the fight cannot and does not stop here. We will continue to serve our thousands of clients and provide the highest-quality reproductive health care to the most vulnerable New Yorkers, relying on interim state funding and donor contributions to keep our doors open. Meanwhile, lawsuits challenging the gag rule are still underway and the issue will likely make its way to the Supreme Court. As an organization, we are committed to defending access to health care for the most vulnerable Americans.