UPDATE (08/20/19): On August 19th, Planned Parenthood announced it was ending its involvement with the Title X program rather than abide by Trump’s domestic gag rule on abortion services.
Defunding Planned Parenthood has been a years-long mission of the Republican Party and was a high priority promise of the Trump 2016 campaign. While GOP attempts to defund PP through an Obamacare repeal failed, Congress successfully repealed an Obama Title X rule that prohibited states from withholding federal funds for health clinics that provide abortions. Now, Trump is following through on his campaign promise by implementing a "domestic gag rule.” Similar to the "global gag rule" that cuts funding to international aid organizations providing abortion services, this "domestic gag rule" policy would make any health clinic in the United States providing abortion services or education ineligible for Title X Family Planning funds.
The Hyde Amendment (passed as part of the budget every year since the 1970s) already bans federal money from going towards abortion services. Instead, Title X funds go to helping over 4 million Americans, most of whom are at or below the poverty level, receive vital services such as cancer screenings, pap smears, birth control, and STD testing. Cutting off Title X funds will devastate the operation of dozens of health clinics across the country and lead to millions of vulnerable women losing access to their primary health providers. Patients will also have their full scope of medical options kept from them, as physicians will not even be permitted to verbally mention abortion services.
The presence of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providing health clinics has led to the overall decrease in the number of abortions by providing contraception. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that for every federal dollar spent on contraception, the government saves five dollars on pregnancy treatment. A "domestic gag rule" will reverse this positive trend, and put the health of millions of women at risk.
Three calls to make: Senators Kennedy and Cassidy, and Representative Richmond or Scalise
Senator Bill Cassidy: DC Office: 202-224-5824; Metairie office: 504-838-0130; Baton Rouge: 225-929-7711; Monroe: 318-324-2111; Lake Charles: 337-277-5398; Alexandria: 318-448-7176; Lafayette: 337-261-1400; Shreveport: 318-798-3215
Senator John Kennedy: DC office: 202-224-4623; New Orleans: 504-581-6190; Lafayette: (337) 269-5980; Monroe: (318) 361-1489; Alexandria: (318) 445-2892; Baton Rouge: (225) 926-8033; Shreveport: (318) 670-5192
Because of how Congressional districts are drawn, New Orleans residents have either Richmond or Scalise as their representative. If you don't know who your representative is, you can look it up by entering your home address on the U.S. House of Representatives website.
Representative Cedric Richmond - in DC at (202) 225-6636, and in New Orleans at (504) 288-3777
Representative Steve Scalise - in DC at (202) 225-3015, and in Metairie at (504) 837-1259
Hello. My name is [Your Name] and I'm an active voter from New Orleans, ZIP Code 70118 [Or wherever you’re from].
I'm calling to express my opposition to the Trump administration's "Domestic Gag Rule" and ask that the [ senator / representative ] publicly condemn such a policy. Cutting off funds to women's health clinics because they educate patients of their full reproductive options is reckless, and would also threaten access to cancer screenings, birth control, and STD testing for millions of women across the country.
Thank you for your time and attention.
This call is adapted from 5calls.org, which can be viewed here.