A rule that would prohibit doctors, nurses, hospitals and health care centers around the country from discussing every method of birth control with their patients is under review by the Office of Budget and Management in Washington, D.C. This “gag rule” would keep health care professionals from sharing all available information with their patients.
This concerns me, and it should concern everyone. Government has no right to step in to regulate what health care professionals should and should not be telling their patients. That is between the patients and their doctors and nurses.
Why is government doing this? Well, it’s a direct attempt to tie the hands of organizations that provide reproductive health care to individuals through the Title X program. This includes Planned Parenthood.
Title X was created to ensure that everyone has access to basic, preventative reproductive health care, such as birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment and well-woman exams. The majority of people who receive reproductive health care through Title X are below the federal poverty level and do not have insurance.
This newly proposed rule is not about providing better health care to low-income people, which is something that directly affects the people of West Virginia. It is about politics, and it is an attack on these organizations at the determent of public health. As a former longtime member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, I fully understand what should be governed and what should not.
And, I believe the attempt to prohibit certain health care providers from discussing every birth control option with their patients is a prime example of an overreach by government.
I hope Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., will see through the facade around this rule change. And I encourage him to do everything in his power to see that this rule change will not be implemented.