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Florida Senators stand against the Trump-Pence Administration gag rule

Senators Berman, Gibson, Book and Stewart

Florida Senators stand against the Trump-Pence Administration gag rule

Florida’s women senators warn of the impacts of the Trump-Pence Gag Rule on access to birth control and preventive reproductive health care

By Michelle DeMarco

     TALLAHASSEE, FL – New research[1] out shows that the Trump-Pence administration’s dangerous new gag rule could mean as many as ten thousand Floridians would lose access to essential reproductive health care like birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment at their preferred health care provider. Florida’s women senators including Senators Lori Berman (D-Lantana), Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville), Lauren Book (D-Fort Lauderdale), and Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) are speaking out against this rule.

“The research clearly shows what medical experts and people across Florida already know: Planned Parenthood is part of the fabric of our state and the Trump-Pence gag rule would be devastating for as many as ten thousand of Title X patients who rely on Planned Parenthood for basic health care,” said Senator Berman. “No woman should be denied basic information about her health care — including safe and legal abortion. The result of this rule is that people will not get the health care they need. I will never stop fighting for Floridians to ensure that all people have access to the full range of reproductive health care.”

The rule makes it illegal for doctors, nurses, hospitals, community health centers, and any other provider in the Title X program to tell their patients how they can safely and legally access abortion. It would also introduce new restrictions designed to keep patients across Florida from accessing birth control at Planned Parenthood health centers.

Title X is the nation’s only program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, and serves more than four million people each year. Planned Parenthood health centers serve thousands of the people who rely on Title X for care in Florida, meaning the new restrictions would have a devastating impact on care across the state.

“This move by the feds is an outrage and a heartless attempt to restrict access and information to more than four million poor and working poor American women,” said Senator Book. “I proudly join in the call for the Trump administration to quickly reverse this unconscionable restriction.”

The rule would also impose new restrictions designed to make it impossible for patients to get birth control or preventive care from reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood and removes the guarantee that people are getting full and accurate information about their health care from their doctors. For nearly two decades, Title X law has been clear: Health care providers cannot withhold information from you about your pregnancy options. This rule means they can.

“Withholding information from a patient who asks for such is counter to the oath health care professionals take. Trump may not take this oath seriously, but women should not suffer because of it,” said Senator Gibson.

This is just one more action by the Trump Administration that leaves you shaking your head and asking: why? Who really believes that acting against the established practices of the medical community at the expense of the women who find themselves in these desperate situations is the right thing to do? It seems like a no brainer that the public thinks this President should be focused on public health, not political gamesmanship,” said Senator Stewart.

The rule has been met with widespread opposition by the American people, the medical community, and public health experts. New polling from Hart Research Associates showed overwhelming opposition to the Trump-Pence administration’s efforts to take away women’s basic rights and health care. Major medical associations, including the American Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and others, oppose this rule.

 

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