February 26, 2019

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New Dem Govs to Trump Administration: We Will Fight Domestic Gag Rule

Letter to HHS Secretary: “We will do what is necessary to protect the health of our constituents and explore all possible avenues, including legal options, to block it from being implemented.”

In a letter today, 10 newly elected Democratic governors urged the Trump administration to reconsider its sweeping changes to the Title X program that would undermine women’s health and upend a 40-year partnership between states and the federal government to ensure reproductive health services for all Americans.

The governors wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to express strong opposition to the rule, which would restrict access to reproductive health providers like Planned Parenthood, but severely limits the information Title X doctors can share with patients about their care. The governors wrote that they are prepared to explore all avenues, including legal challenges, to reverse the rule. They join the 14 Democratic governors who have already publicly challenged the changes and threatened legal action against the administration.

“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,” the governors wrote.

The letter was led by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico and signed by the following Democratic governors, who were all elected to office last November:

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, Maine Gov. Janet Mills, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers

The full letter can be viewed HERE and seen below.

Dear Secretary Azar:

As newly elected governors representing nearly 90 million Americans, we join our colleagues across the country in expressing our deep concern with this Administration’s recently finalized Title X rule. This rule, known as a domestic “gag rule,” would impose sweeping new restrictions on healthcare providers nationwide, prohibiting them from providing comprehensive, medically accurate information to their patients. These politically motivated restrictions threaten access to reproductive healthcare for millions of vulnerable women and men. As the only federal program dedicated to the delivery of family planning and related health care services, the Title X program has provided access to essential health care services for more than 40 years. It is a state-federal partnership that improves health outcomes, and as such, has enjoyed broad bipartisan support at all levels of government. The Administration’s new policy upends decades of bipartisan cooperation and is opposed by every major provider association.  

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.

We strongly urge you to rescind this rule. Should you choose to move forward with this policy, we will do what is necessary to protect the health of our constituents and explore all possible avenues, including legal options, to block it from being implemented. The women and men who rely on Title X in our states deserve no less.

Sincerely,

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
California Gov. Gavin Newsom
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker
Maine Gov. Janet Mills
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers