Sexuality Education

Trump to Propose Domestic ‘Gag Rule,’ Risking Care for Millions

For Immediate Release
May 18, 2018

Contact: Zach Eisenstein
Phone: (202) 265-2405 ext 333

The Trump Administration has revealed plans to institute a domestic “gag rule.” This action would require all health care facilities that receive Title X family planning funds to be physically separated from those performing abortion services. The rule would also ban abortion referrals and waive the current Title X requirement for counseling on all pregnancy options—including abortion.

Effectively, this decision would allow providers to withhold information from their patients and takes direct aim at health clinics, including Planned Parenthood, that provide abortion and other reproductive health care services within the same facility.

Chitra Panjabi, SIECUS President & CEO, released the following statement in response:

“SIECUS condemns this administration’s proposed gag rule in the harshest of terms. This move to destroy the integrity of Title X—the nation’s only federal family planning program—will deny millions of low-income individuals, many of whom are people of color, from understanding their options and accessing vital health care.

All people have a right to accurate information about their sexual and reproductive health. This gag rule directly eliminates people’s ability to make their own informed decisions about their bodies, their families, and their futures.

This decision would also worsen the inequity that already exists within our health care system. Under this rule, Title X providers would not be required to share information about abortion services with their patients—two thirds of whom live at or below the federal poverty line. While these providers would be limited in their ability to ensure all types of reproductive health care are available, private practitioners remain unrestricted in their abilities to share any and all abortion information and services with their patients.

With this rule, the Administration is sending a clear message: ‘The less money you make, the less your health and rights matter.’

Over 30 years ago, the Reagan administration tried to implement this same, discriminatory rule. It was challenged in court and, ultimately, suspended.

While it is sad to see our administration, quite literally, turning back the clock on the advancement of sexual and reproductive health care in this country, we hope history will repeat itself and this appalling decision will be swiftly rejected by the courts.

We will continue to be vigilant in our work with both policymakers and partners to ensure that this rule does not go into effect.”


SIECUS affirms that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one that is worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the right of all people to accurate information, comprehensive education about sexuality, and sexual health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice and sexual rights.