AMA Statement on Title X Gag Rule and Funding Restrictions
Barbara L. McAneny, M.D.
President, American Medical Association
This rule interferes with and imposes restrictions on the patient-physician relationship. For all intents and purposes, it imposes a gag rule on what information physicians can provide to their patients. The patient-physician relationship relies on trust, open conversation and informed decision making and the government should not be telling physicians what they can and cannot say to their patients.
"Protecting the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship and defending the freedom of communication between patients and their physicians is a fundamental priority for the AMA. With this action, the administration wants to block physicians from counseling patients about all of their healthcare options and from providing appropriate referrals for care. This is a clear violation of patients' rights in the Code of Medical Ethics.
"The AMA also strongly objects to the administration's plan to withhold federal family planning funding from entities that provide critical medical services to vulnerable populations. Millions of women depend on the Title X program for access to much-needed healthcare including cancer screenings, birth control, STI testing and treatment, and other exams. This is the wrong prescription and threatens to compound a health equity deficit in this nation. Women should have access to these medical services regardless of where they live, how much money they make, their background, or whether they have health insurance.
"Title X is popular, successful, and has had bipartisan support for decades. Our country is at a 30-year low for unintended pregnancy and an historic low for pregnancy among teenagers -- largely because of expanded access to birth control. We should not be walking back from that progress."