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Treasurer Chiang Stands with Planned Parenthood in
Fight Against Trump Administration’s ‘Gag Rule’
In letter to HHS Deputy Secretary, Treasurer Chiang lays out
severe consequences for California in denying Title X funding

July 31, 2018

Contact: Press Office

SACRAMENTO – California State Treasurer John Chiang today sent a letter to Diane Foley, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where he strongly opposed the Trump Administration’s “gag rule” and urged HHS to reject the rule change that harms the health of Californians and all Americans served by Title X.

“This is an ideological assault on not just a woman’s ability to make well-informed medical decisions, but also undermines California’s ability to provide comprehensive health care services to low-income women throughout the state,” said Treasurer Chiang. “While the Trump Administration may want to turn back the clock and cut off women’s reproductive health rights, Californians will stand up and fight back.”

The proposed rules — open for public comment through today — trample on scientific, medically-based care, and eliminates the requirement that Title X grantees, like Planned Parenthood, counsel its patients on their full range of reproductive options. Moreover, the proposed rule change make counseling on abortion and where to seek such services virtually impossible.

In the letter to HHS, Treasurer Chiang lays out three severe consequences California will face as a result of the gag rule:

  • Undermining California’s family planning and reproductive health care delivery system for low-income and rural Californians,
  • Denying access to evidence-based, comprehensive reproductive health information (contravening state law), and
  • Increasing the financial and service burden on California’s already strained health care safety net.

California has the largest and most diverse Title X delivery system in the nation, which collectively serves over one million low-income and rural individuals. With one-quarter of the nation’s Title X patients living in California, and 91 percent of those patients with incomes at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level, Californians would see severe consequences under the rule change. In fact, most of the patients in California who receive services underwritten by Title X are served by one of California’s Planned Parenthood clinics and more than half of women who obtain health care from a family planning provider consider it to be their only or usual source of health care.

Lower-income and families in rural areas, where there may only be one reproductive health care provider, may see the most dire consequences under the proposed rule.

Treasurer Chiang added, “As the only individual to hold every elected financial office at the state level and a former board member of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, I understand first-hand the financial challenges faced by California’s safety net providers. Cutting access to the only federal funding source specifically designed to support the delivery of family planning will only deprive low-income and rural Californians access to basic health services. Forcing Californians to pay more for coverage or travel further won’t end the need, but will only put the health of our communities’ at risk.”

A copy of the letter Treasurer Chiang sent to Deputy Secretary Foley can be found here:

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