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Atheists: Domestic Gag Rule is Unconstitutional, Threatens Well-Being of Millions

Washington, DC—American Atheists today submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human services opposing the so-called “Domestic Gag Rule” as unconstitutional and a threat to the safety, health, and well-being of millions of Americans who rely on Title X funding for their healthcare needs. 

The proposed rule would prohibit healthcare providers who received federal Title X Family Planning Program funding from discussing the full range of medical procedures available to patients or from referring patients to providers who will provide abortion services. This rule would prevent doctors who receive Title X funding from discussing even medically necessary abortions with their patients.

“These rules have nothing to do with improving healthcare outcomes. They are entirely about forcing religious disapproval of abortion services on all Title X providers and healthcare recipients,” said Alison Gill, legal and policy director of American Atheists. “If passed, this rule will limit options for women and require doctors and nurses to conceal information and lie to the people who are counting on their medical advice—for no other reason than to appease religious extremists.”

“Patients cannot possibly make informed choices about their health if they’re only getting half the facts. The Trump administration is trying to hold medical funding hostage and demanding that doctors and nurses mislead their patients,” added Gill.

In the comments, American Atheists raises three primary concerns:

  1. The proposed rules would unconstitutionally give preference to religious organizations for federal funding;
  2. The proposed rules unconstitutionally abridge the free speech rights of healthcare providers; and,
  3. The proposed rules are jeopardize the health and well-being of countless Americans and limit the ability of vulnerable populations to access healthcare.

You can read the full comments below.