Condemning Trump’s Title X Gag Rule

This statement was approved by DSA’s National Political Committee (NPC).

This week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America announced that it has been forced out of continuing to receive funding through Title X, a decades-old program for affordable birth control and reproductive healthcare, by the Trump Administration’s new gag rule. This gag rule prohibits groups that provide abortions or abortion referrals from receiving any federal funding under Title X. This means that organizations providing reproductive healthcare services such as Planned Parenthood are now either prohibited from providing or even telling patients about all their healthcare options, or face the loss of millions of dollars that go toward providing other essential healthcare services, such as birth control, breast exams, STD screening and treatment, and PreP. The loss of Title X funds will have an even greater impact on similar independent clinics. Although Planned Parenthood and other providers are continuing to pursue legal options in challenging the rule and legislators have incorporated language into spending packages to prevent its implementation, this rule is a direct attack on the healthcare services available to the working class. It demonstrates yet again how crucial it is for us to demand Medicare for All, including the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and the implementation of full funding for abortion services.

About 4 million low-income women receive aid under Title X, and, due to the Hyde Amendment, clinics were already barred from using that money toward abortion services. In light of this and other recent attacks on abortion access by the Trump administration and Republican-controlled state governments, it’s become more evident than ever that, unable to ban abortion completely (yet), the right wing is determined to chip away at working people’s ability to afford one. This gag rule will not stop abortions from happening, but will instead hurt millions seeking other essential services.

As abortion rights become further restricted and abortion becomes criminalized in several states, the impact of these injustices will be inflicted most severely on working-class individuals who are already marginalized in our society, In particular people of color, trans men, non-binary individuals, undocumented persons, sex workers, and disabled individuals will be at increased risk of being forced into unsafe situations while seeking abortions, as well as face incarceration and state violence where abortion is criminalized.

We may have a legal right to abortion, but we have no real choice when financial barriers prevent the working class from exercising their right to bodily autonomy and safe, essential health services, and when providers are actively punished for offering abortion care. In light of the Trump administration’s active attempts to divert funds away from abortion providers (and toward conservative, faith-based groups), DSA pledges to work not only to protect abortion as a legal right, but to expand access and ensure that it is available for free, on demand, at the point of service. DSA condemns the gag rule and this attack on healthcare providers. As we recently affirmed at our 2019 National Convention, DSA unequivocally supports everyone’s bodily autonomy and believes that abortion should be fully funded and freely available without stigma or shame.