Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon’s Statement on the Trump Administration’s Proposed “Gag” Rule

August 1, 2018

Brooklyn, NY – Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon released the following statement today, along with a letter to Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, on the Trump’s Administration’s proposed rule to limit a woman’s access to abortion and accurate medical information:

“The Trump-Pence proposed “gag rule” to Title X must be stopped. This rule is a blatant attempt to block women from getting accurate medical information about their own health care, and would prevent doctors from giving patients the reproductive health care they need. It would prevent patients – particularly vulnerable patients with lower incomes – from getting basic birth control and preventive care like cancer screenings and women’s health exams at Planned Parenthood health centers. I trust women enough to make their own health care decisions.

Today, I submitted comments in opposition to the proposed rule. The proposed rule would significantly and detrimentally alter the Title X Family Planning Program (Title X), which has provided vital sexual and reproductive health services to people across the country for more than 40 years. Each year, Title X provides services to 306,070 people in New York.

As a legislator and a former health care worker in a reproductive health care clinic, I am vehemently opposed to this proposed rule. First and foremost, the proposed rule would interfere with the doctor-patient relationship and deny Title X patients information they need to stay healthy. Second, it is clearly designed to make it impossible for reproductive health-focused providers, like Planned Parenthood health centers, to continue to serve people through the program. In addition, it would seriously undermine Title X’s goals of providing comprehensive reproductive health services to people with low incomes. Finally, the rule would exacerbate existing health disparities. The combined result of these changes would be disastrous for the public health for the people in New York.”