At a visit to the new Spokane Planned Parenthood clinic on Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee met with patients and providers to discuss Washington’s participation in the Title X program if the Trump Administration’s gag rule is finalized. Afterward, he released the following statement:
“There is no doubt the Trump Administration’s damaging proposal would weaponize the Title X program, undermine women’s health, and deny patients comprehensive, medically accurate information about their medical care. It is nothing more than a domestic gag rule that has no place in Washington’s medical facilities.
“I have joined with more than a dozen governors in denouncing this harmful policy, and I am again urging the president and Secretary Azar to withdraw the dangerous rule.
“The Trump Administration has given our state no choice but to explore all possible avenues, including legal options, to block this policy from harming the women of Washington. I believe the rule as written will not withstand legal challenge, and I'll do all I can to prevent it. If the Trump gag rule is finalized as written, and cannot be blocked in court, we would be left with no choice but to refuse to participate in an unethical Title X program. We will continue to work closely with our attorney general, the state Legislature, and state health agencies to stop this rule from harming millions of women who, like everyone, have a right to receive basic health care without interference.”
Inslee has instructed state health agencies to thoroughly analyze and submit comments on the unethical effects of the rule that could prevent critical health care services such as breast and pelvic exams, cancer screenings, HIV testing and affordable birth control. The public comment period for the rule ends July 31.