What You Need to Know About the New U.S. Gag Rule on Title X Recipients

One of President Donald Trump’s first actions in office was to reinstate the “Mexico City Policy,” another name for a global gag rule that forbids any foreign non-governmental organizations from receiving funds from the U.S. if they even mention the topic of abortion as a viable means of ending a pregnancy.

As Care2′s s.e. smith explains, the order had a devastating impact in developing nations, and it continues to jeopardize the health of low-income communities – even increasing the abortion rate.

Now the same policy is about to be implemented in the United States, as the president attempts to follow through on his campaign promise to defund Planned Parenthood. But if the policy is instituted, it will have far more repercussions than simply harming the nation’s most well-known reproductive health provider.

Here is everything you need to know about the new U.S. “gag rule”:

1. It will prevent health care facilities that offer — or even refer to – abortion from receive Title X funding.

According to Townhall:

The Department of Health and Human Services will introduce new regulations Friday requiring health clinics providing abortion to choose between keeping abortion services or losing taxpayer funding through grants.

2. The president is calling it the “Protect Life Rule”

Leave it to the GOP to try to paint some of the most restrictive health care rule changes with a candy-coated name to make it more palatable.

Senior Vice President of Operation Rescue Cheryl Sullenger stated:

I am very grateful to President Trump for making the Protect Life Rule a reality. As someone that researches abortion abuses daily, I know this rule will protect vulnerable women from exploitation and possible harm at Planned Parenthood abortion clinics that masquerade as women’s health facilities.

3. Lives will be more endangered via unplanned pregnancies and lack of reproductive health care services.

As Vox reports:

More than one-third of low-income women who get birth control through Title X currently do so at one of Planned Parenthood’s 817 clinics. The best research we have suggests that if Planned Parenthood is cut out of the Title X program, there isn’t a backup option. Low-income women who use Title X services at these clinics likely will not have another place to turn for birth control — and unintended pregnancies could rise as a result.

4. The administration claims the rules will be similar to those of the Reagan era — which were actually blocked by the Supreme Court

The New York Times reports:

The policy could prompt legal challenges, as it did soon after the Reagan administration adopted it. Planned Parenthood and other groups filed lawsuits that blocked the rules, and while the Supreme Court decided in 1991 that they could move forward, they were never fully carried out. President Bill Clinton rescinded the policy in 1994.

5. Many other reproductive health care providers could be harmed as well

According to the ACLU:

News reports indicate that the proposed rule would implement a “gag rule” that prohibits any health care provider from participating in the Title X family planning program unless they agree not to refer patients for abortion services.  It would apparently also place new, onerous restrictions on reproductive health care providers, designed to prevent them from participating in the Title X program if they also provide referrals or abortion care outside of the program.

6. Abortion opponents claim this is about freeing taxpayers from abortion – but it’s clear they really want to end access to reliable, effective birth control options, too.

Students for Life president, Kristan Hawkins tells NPR:

These changes are long overdue as abortion is not healthcare or birth control and many women want natural healthcare choices rather than hormone-induced changes. The Trump Administration has every right to require that Title X programs focus on healthcare, not abortion, and to keep such programs aimed at helping women make a plan for a family outside of the facilities designed to making sure women don’t have a family at all.

Take Action!

Urge Trump to allow family planning providers to speak about all types of reproductive health care by signing this Care2 petition.

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.


Photo credit: Robin Marty/Flickr


Peggy B
Peggy B10 months ago


silja s
silja salonen11 months ago

what in all that is righteous, is wrong with that tosser and his administration ???

Freya H
Freya H11 months ago

Once again, Paul B has proven to be an ignorant, gynophobic knuckle-dragger that really needs to stay under its rock instead of reaching into its diaper and smearing whatever it finds within on Care2's fair pages. Things like that creep make perfect arguments in favor of birth control and abortion.

Colin C
Colin C11 months ago

Thanks for the information

Karen H
Karen H11 months ago

Oh, Pam. Ten gazillion stars to you!

Angela J
Angela J11 months ago


pam w
pam w11 months ago

"Paul B"....I'll repeat myself, if you'll TRY TO KEEP UP! 97% of Planned Parenthood's activities are UNRELATED TO ABORTION! Read that again, please. Literally thousands of condoms are handed out at every PP event, to visitors at the clinic...everywhere we have the chance to give free contraceptives to those who want them. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ABORTION STATISTICS! It's obvious that you (a) hate women (b) don't believe we have the right to determine our own reproductive lives (c) hate Democrats and (d) probably live a very angry life. How would you like it if the government MANDATED that YOU must be a father? MANDATED it! Suppose you have a potentially life-threatening infection in your jaw and your dentist tells you she can easily perform a root-canal? And then, suppose the government tells you that's FORBIDDEN and prohibits a simple, legal procedure. You'd say it's none of their business, wouldn't you? Ummm, hmmmm...but you have the right to disparage our patients? Sit down and shut up!

Julie D
Julie D11 months ago

The Republicans and "pro life" hypocrites do not want to allow birth control to be readily and easily accessible to prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions, but also do not want to see starving and disadvantaged children born into poverty fed or taken care of. Rowe vs Wade decided this matter long ago. It needs to stand. This is not a matter for male politicians to decide, who are only playing to their base of ignorant religious fanatics because they are hard up for votes.

Just H
Just Human11 months ago

To the guy who thinks a woman's right to choose should be limited, you're making yourself sound foolish. Us guys will never, ever have a clue what it's like to be pregnant so give it up. As for eliminating Planned Parenthood, any guy who thinks the women of this country shouldn't have the care that Planned Parenthood provides isn't much of a man.

Anne K
Anne K11 months ago

"Protect Life Rule"? Has he seen the photos of his sons grinning as they hold parts of animals they shot to death?