The following is a guest editorial from Planned Parenthood Southeast:

Today, Planned Parenthood Southeast and partners held a rally outside the Department of Health and Human Services building in downtown Atlanta, calling on legislators to oppose the Trump-Pence Administration’s domestic gag rule.

Said Barbara Ann Luttrell of Planned Parenthood Southeast:

“The result of this gag rule is that people will not get the health care they need. They won’t get birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, or even general women’s health exams. And the result would be devastating for millions of people across this country. We know that firsthand because here in the South, these kinds of attacks have been our reality for years. The political landscape in Georgia is so hostile to women’s reproductive health that we get shut out of programs like Title X. As a result, our states continue to rank among the ten WORST in terms of women’s health. We are living proof of what policies like the Trump-Pence gag rule would do to women and families around the country.”

Trump’s nationwide gag rule, released Tuesday night, makes it illegal for doctors, nurses, hospitals, community health centers, and any other provider in the Title X program to tell patients how they can safely and legally access abortion. It would also introduce new rules designed to make it impossible for millions of patients to access birth control at Planned Parenthood health centers across the country.

This rule has been met with widespread opposition. New polling from Hart Research Associates shows overwhelming opposition to the Trump-Pence administration’s efforts to take away women’s basic rights and health care. Across the country, 73 percent of Americans oppose Administration actions like the domestic gag rule and almost seven in 10 Americans strongly disapprove of the Trump-Pence administration’s agenda to take away women’s basic health, rights, and freedoms.

This is opposed by the medical community, lawmakers and public health experts. Major medical associations, like the American Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and others oppose this rule. When a similar version of this rule was introduced in the 1980s, it was met with tremendous outcry and opposition from the medical community. More than 200 members of Congress (Senate letter and House letter) and over 110 public health organizations have come out in opposition to a gag policy.

Planned Parenthood Southeast (PPSE) provides high-quality, affordable health care to women, men, and teens in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. Our experienced and caring health center staff gives each client honest information and personal attention.

Our legacy began in 1930 when a Planned Parenthood affiliate was created in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1964, our Atlanta, Georgia affiliate was founded followed by our Mississippi health centers in 1989. In 2010, all three states united under name Planned Parenthood Southeast and continue our commitment to the health of women, men, and young people in the deep south.

PPSE believes in the fundamental right of each individual to have access to regardless of the individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, faith identity or immigration status. Our mission is to provide comprehensive sexual health care through the provision of reproductive health services, education and advocacy.

Visit them at ppse.org or check them out on Facebook.

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