Governor Wolf Joins Providers, Advocates, Patients in Support of Women’s Reproductive Health Rights

July 25, 2018

Philadelphia, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today was joined by medical providers, advocates, patients, legislators, and members of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women in support of women’s reproductive health rights at an event at Eakins Lounge at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

“Let me be clear, there is no role for government to step between a woman and her doctor,” Gov. Wolf said. “President Trump’s plan to implement a Title X gag rule will cut women off from critical health care services like birth control and preventive care, including cancer screenings, and will censor doctors and strip federal funding from certain health care providers for discussing legal health care procedures with their patients.”

Joining Gov. Wolf and offering remarks were representatives of AccessMatters, one of four family planning councils in Pennsylvania that receives Title X funding from the federal government; Planned Parenthood; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP); New Voices; and patients who have benefited from both Title X and Planned Parenthood funding to receive vital screenings and treatment.

“I am deeply concerned that proposed changes to Title X will negatively impact our ability to meet the needs of children, adolescents and families we serve at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia,” said Dr. Aletha Akers, director of Adolescent Gynecology and faculty member at PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Title X allows us to provide preventative health services, ranging from cancer screenings to family planning, to more than 2,000 young people in our community – services they need to grow into healthy, productive adults.”

“Patient-centered, respectful, comprehensive, and confidential care have been cornerstones of the Title X Family Planning Program for over 45 years,” said Melissa Weiler Gerber, President & CEO of AccessMatters. “These proposed rules are a ‘solution’ to a problem that does not exist and in reality, they will undermine access and jeopardize the health and well-being of our country.”

“The proposed regulation would fundamentally change the Title X program, denying millions of patients access to trusted healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood,” Dayle Steinberg, CEO of Planned Parenthood for Southeastern Pennsylvania said. “It defies logic for an Administration that opposes abortion to decrease access to birth control – the front-line defense and most effective means to prevent the need for abortion.”

“As a cancer survivor, I can tell you that early detection of disease is critical to survival,” said Jeanette Herrington, of Springfield, and the mother of two girls. “As a result of the proposed rule, it is indisputable that more cancers will go undetected, more abnormal Pap smears will not be treated, and life-saving care will be inaccessible for the low-income women and men who need it most.”

“The Title X gag rule not only intrudes on the patient-provider relationship, but it also takes away a woman’s autonomy and her right to have transparent access to information so that she can make informed health care decisions,” said Randi Teplitz, chair of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. “Title X was enacted to provide care to some of our most vulnerable citizens, including young women, low income women, and women of color. The White House’s gag rule reverses 50 years of progress and burdens a woman with unnecessary obstacles during a time when she needs support and clarity.”

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