On July 3, 178 public health scholars, including fifteen deans and associate deans at schools of public health and public policy, and the American Public Health Association filed a “friend of the court” brief in support of the Plaintiff-Appellees in State of Oregon, et al., v Azar, et al. The brief calls on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold decisions blocking implementation of the Trump administration’s Title X “gag” rule
The rule would “gag” physicians by barring them from giving pregnant patients full counseling about health care choices, including information about abortion services. The rule would also withhold federal funding from comprehensive health clinics that are unable to meet new physical and financial separation requirements.
The public health scholars argue that the trial courts correctly concluded that the Trump administration ignored evidence regarding the impact of the rule on the Title X provider network. The brief also argues that the administration ignored evidence showing the barriers to quickly rebuilding a similar network and the detrimental effect that dismantling the existing network would have on patients and public health.
“Title X clinics are a lifeline for low-income women with significant health risks, for whom unintended pregnancy is an especially serious health threat,” said Dr. Lynn R. Goldman, the Michael and Lori Milken Dean of the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and one of the amici who signed the brief. “If the administration’s rule is allowed to stand, the public health implications will be enormous because of the rise in unintended pregnancies and the consequences of unintended pregnancy on health.”Friday Letter Submission, Publish on July 26