Trump’s dangerous gag rule

It would strip federal funding for a host of women’s health services

The author, a Chico resident, is a Chico State alum and former small-business owner.

There has been much speculation that a conservative pro-life majority on the Supreme Court will have Roe v. Wade in its crosshairs. Don’t let that distract you from the fact that Planned Parenthood remains under attack by the Republican Party and its religious zealots.

The slander and outright lies about Planned Parenthood that have come out of the mouths of Republican politicians goes beyond absurd. On April 8, 2011, Sen. Jon Kyl stood on the Senate floor and declared well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions, when in fact it is 3 percent and is done without government funding.

Planned Parenthood provides a wide variety of women’s health services to millions of lower-income and poor women. This includes contraception, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, cancer screening and prevention, and pregnancy tests and prenatal care. The nonprofit provides reproductive health care, education and outreach to nearly 5 million women, men and adolescents annually worldwide. It has 650 affiliate health centers across the nation, and for many women, these are the only health care services available to them.

Soon after his inauguration Trump signed legislation that cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood and other groups that perform abortions, a move cheered by conservatives who have clamored to curb women’s reproductive rights. That nullified an Obama administration rule that barred state and local governments from withholding federal funding for family planning services, regardless of whether they also performed abortions.

Trump also implemented the “global gag rule,” which bans overseas groups from receiving U.S. health funding if they even so much as mention abortion-related services. Evidence has shown that the global gag rule leads to increases in unsafe abortion, as well as unintended pregnancies, women dying from pregnancy-related complications, and infant and child deaths. It also leads to health center closures, which leave people with less access to care.

Trump wants this gag rule for America. The only gag rule we should have is one placed over his ill-mannered, uncaring mouth, and his out of control thumbs.