Hon. Lisa Murkwoski
510 L Street, Suite 600
Anchorage, AK 99501
Re: Title X “Gag Rule”
Dear Senator Murkwoski:
We write today to express grave concern for the health and well being of Alaskan men and women in the wake of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) proposed new rules governing the Title X family planning program.
The ACLU of Alaska has been the premier civil liberties organization in the Last Frontier since its founding in 1971. Through our legislative expertise and grassroots advocacy, we work to protect the rights and liberties enshrined in the U.S. and Alaska constitutions, including for Alaskan women seeking reproductive health care.
With the proposed Title X change, the over 8,600 patients seeking Title X-funded reproductive healthcare annually in Alaska would no longer be guaranteed full and accurate information upon which to base their personal reproductive and other health decisions. Additionally, providers in Alaska–including doctors, nurses, hospitals, and community health centers–would be prevented from referring patients for safe, legal abortions.
The Trump administration is attempting to insert ideology into exam rooms across Alaska to the detriment of the most vulnerable communities of Alaskan women. According to HHS, over 84% of the patients in Alaska who are served by Title X programs earn less than $37,125 per year.
Title X funds already can’t be used to fund abortion or abortion-related services. Denying men and women in Alaska the ability to even discuss the full range of family planning and reproductive health options with their doctors or denying funds to any health organizations that otherwise provide abortion-related services offers no public benefit to Alaskans. It will only restrict the medical options and negatively impact the health of low and middle-income Alaskans.
We very much appreciate your vocal support for all Alaskans continued access to family planning and reproductive health services. The ACLU of Alaska asks you to continue to keep the rights and best interests of Alaskans first and foremost in your mind and to keep speaking out on their behalf.
Joshua A. Decker