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Reproductive Health Policy Should Not Be Eroded

Washington, DC, May 29, 2018 – Earlier this month, the Trump administration signaled it wants to change access to health care. A draft notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) shows the administration seeks to roll back patients’ rights and significantly impact access to health care under Title X, the country’s birth control and reproductive health program. The effect of these changes would be to deny LGBTQ people, women, and communities of color, information about their full reproductive health care options.

This proposed rule would do four things:

  • First, it would remove the guarantee that people get full and accurate information about health care from their doctors.
  • Second, under this rule doctors, nurses, hospitals, and community health centers across the country could no longer refer their patients for safe, legal abortion.
  • Third , it would impose new rules that are designed to make it impossible for millions of patients to get birth control or preventive care from reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood.
  • Fourth, it would define what “low-income” means — expanding it to now include people whose employers no longer allow them to have their birth control covered by health insurance, in an apparent attempt to rectify the gap in care caused by the administration’s previous rule on insurance coverage of birth control.

Many within the LGBTQ community – including cisgender women, transgender men, intersex and gender-nonconforming people—can get pregnant and need affordable access to birth control and other reproductive health options to make the best decisions for themselves and their dependents. LGBTQ individuals, especially LGBTQ people of color, already struggle to access vital health services. For instance, many within the LGBTQ community are more likely to be underinsured when compared with non-LGBTQ individuals. Already far too many LGBTQ people are outright denied services because of who they are.

The result of this rule would be that people will not get the health care they need. They will not get birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, or even general women’s health exams. Everyone should have the right to information about their health care – including information about safe, legal abortion.

The National LGBTQ Task Force will oppose this proposed rule by collecting stories and comments from the LGBTQ community about how harmful this rule will be for our community if it is implemented. There will be a 60 day comment period that will begin once the proposed rule is published in the federal register.

The country should be working towards full reproductive healthcare and access for all people, including LGBTQ people, says the Task Force. This proposed rule is a huge step backwards for accessible healthcare.

Sarah Massey
Director of Communications
[email protected]