Say no to ‘gag rule’

Title X is under assault and this is an attack that should concern everyone. A proposed “gag rule” being reviewed by the Office of Budget and Management in Washington D.C. would damage men and women’s access to health care across the country.

This proposed rule takes direct aim at Title X, which is the nation’s only birth control and reproductive health care program. Congress created Title X to make sure everyone has access to basic, preventative reproductive health care, such as birth control. Title X also ensures that everyone — men and women — have access to cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, and wellness exams. Every year about 4 million people receive care because of Title X.

The proposed “gag rule” would prohibit doctors and other health care professionals from discussing all of a patient’s birth control options. This is a direct attempt to actually prohibit doctors from discussing FDA approved procedures with their patients. This censorship threatens the entire patient/provider relationship.

Two thirds of people who receive care through Title X fall below the federal poverty level. Between the rural nature of our state and a significant portion of our population living below the poverty line, this “gag rule” will hit West Virginia hard. These are our families, neighbors and friends. We have to stand up for their medical care.

I’m asking Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore-Capito to help us protect their care by doing everything they can to keep this “gag rule” from being implemented.

Judy Stephens

Chairwoman, Wood County

Democratic Executive Committee

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