Women's Health Will Not Be Gagged

On July 15, the Trump Administration notified Title X clinics across the country, including Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center (Women’s Health), that enforcement of the long-threatened Title X “Gag Rule” is effective immediately.

The Gag Rule disqualifies abortion providers from Title X unless they physically and financially separate their abortion and family planning services. It bans abortion referrals, even upon patient request, preventing providers from giving patients honest and complete information about their pregnancy options, undermining trust in the doctor-patient relationship, and disregarding patient autonomy in their medical decision-making. The Gag Rule also interferes with teens’ confidential access to birth control.

Women’s Health was founded in 1973 as the first abortion clinic in Colorado. We remain committed to providing abortion care and to providing ethical, high quality patient-centered care in all of our medical services. We do not feel we can do this within the framework of the Title X Gag Rule. Therefore, Women’s Health is withdrawing from the federal Title X program, which currently represents about $500,000 or 20% of our budget.  

We will not compromise our commitment to our patients or our community. Our goal is to continue to provide family planning services on a sliding scale for our lowest income patients using other sources of private and public funding, including donations and state and local government funds.

While the “gag” on abortion referrals applies to all of the more than 70 Title X clinics across the state, Women’s Health is the only Title X clinic in Colorado that is also an abortion provider.

Women’s Health has participated in the Title X program since 1983, providing birth control, pregnancy tests and counseling, annual exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and STI screenings on a sliding scale that slides to $0 for low-income and uninsured patients.

Through the years, through the ups and downs, our community has been with us. We can’t express our appreciation enough. These are unprecedented times, and now more than ever, we need our supporters. Do not let these services be erased from our community.  Stand with us in our commitment to provide compassionate abortion care and quality, subsidized family planning services – without compromise!

 

Author
Lisa Radelet Lisa Radelet is the Communications Director at Women's Health.

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