The Freedom From Religion Foundation is supporting a proposed Department of Health and Human Services rule to reverse the Trump administration’s cruel attacks on Title X, the federal program providing family planning and other health care screening to low-income patients.
The state/church watchdog has submitted its formal support for the proposed rule change to expand access to family planning services and is encouraging its more than 35,000 members nationwide to register their support as well.
The new rule, “Ensuring Access to Equitable, Affordable, Client-Centered, Quality Family Planning Services,” will reverse the Trump gag rule, restore funding to health care providers who offer abortion services or referral, and advance public health by expanding access to health care for underserved Americans.
Under pressure from religious megadonors, the Trump administration instituted the domestic gag rule in early 2019, which stripped public funding under Title X from health care providers offering abortion services or information. This callous and shortsighted policy change specifically targeted Planned Parenthood clinics, endangering the health care and safety of millions of women across the country and leaving many underserved communities scrambling to find new providers or going without services entirely.
The domestic gag rule instead favored public funds going to religious anti-abortion groups. These faith-based groups typically refuse to provide factual sex education information or contraception, or even refer patients to providers for birth control. Studies have shown that abstinence-only education is ineffective, withholds medically accurate information and undermines public health programs.
“It is unconscionable that religiously motivated organizations have received family planning monies instead of organizations that provide comprehensive, science-based resources and information,” comment FFRF Co-Presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker. “American women have a constitutional right to privacy, in this case to determine if or whether they wish to use contraception, terminate unwanted pregnancies or become mothers. The government needs to ensure that right, not undermine it.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 35,000 members and several chapters across the country. Its purpose is to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church.