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The Global Gag Rule and Proposed Domestic Gag Rule Compared

Washington Memo Craig Lasher, Senior Fellow

Gag Rules—Enemies of Public Health at Home and Abroad

PAI has put together a chart to compare the abortion-related restrictions contained in the Trump-Pence administration’s expanded Global Gag Rule with the proposed new regulations on the Title X domestic family planning program, released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on May 22, 2018.

It is important to note that these new proposed HHS regulations are many months from being finalized and may be significantly revised during the agency rulemaking process before the publication of any final rule in the Federal Register.

The chart is not meant to be an inclusive summary of all of the elements of the proposed Domestic Gag Rule regulation on the Title X family planning program—only those provisions that have a direct counterpart in the Global Gag Rule, referred to by the Trump-Pence administration as the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) policy.

For example, no analogue exists in the PLGHA for perhaps the most onerous and destructive set of provisions for longstanding Title X grantees like Planned Parenthood, which alone provides over 40 percent of patient care. Specifically, the requirement in the proposed Domestic Gag Rule to maintain a “physical and financial separation” between the federally funded family planning project and an organization’s non-federally funded abortion-related activities. If included in the final rule, an organization’s compliance with such requirements would be necessary to remain eligible for Title X grants.

PAI offers the chart as our contribution to the forthcoming public debate and to the political, legislative and legal battles that are sure to soon ensue in the hopes of minimizing any confusion between the Global Gag Rule and the proposed Domestic Gag Rule—given their many similarities but also their many significant differences.

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