After nearly 40 years, Public Health Solutions (PHS) may no longer be able to provide sexual and reproductive health services to thousands of low-income New Yorkers because of the Trump administration’s gag rule on the Title X Family Planning Program.
The gag rule interferes in the trusted patient-provider relationship by barring Title X funding recipients from providing patients full information about family planning options and referring patients to abortion services. It undermines the mission of the program and will exacerbate health disparities for low-income communities across the country. Public Health Solutions cannot commit to complying with rules that would render us unable to provide the care we believe in: comprehensive, quality family planning services for low-income New Yorkers who need them the most. We are unwilling to compromise those beliefs by replacing our services with inadequate and incomplete health care.
This is a very hard decision. We currently administer $4.6 million in federal Title X funding to six health centers and 13 service sites; two of the sites are sexual and reproductive health centers run directly by PHS, serving high-need communities throughout Brooklyn – including Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Crown Heights, East New York, Flatbush, and Fort Greene. Nearly two-thirds of individuals we serve, including adults and teens, live below the poverty line; more than half rely on public health insurance programs; and almost a quarter lack health insurance altogether. This gag rule is yet another way the Trump administration is unfairly targeting the most vulnerable Americans.
Without Title X money, the programs we run and fund – which provide essential care to communities and improve heath equity across New York – are at risk. Other states have filled this funding gap, and we are hopeful New York State will do the same as a national leader on reproductive rights. We all must work together to fight back against the Trump administration’s obliteration of decades of progress.