Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley issued the following after the Trump Administration ordered the final gag rule on Title X, the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. The rule makes it illegal for health care providers in the program to refer patients for an abortion.Statement from Ruth-Ellen Blodgett, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley:“Politicians do not belong anywhere near medical exam rooms. Since the election of Donald Trump, health care providers around the country knew it would only be a matter of time before the administration would dismantle the most important family planning program in this country – Title X, signed into law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon. "By making it illegal for providers in the program to refer patients for an abortion, Trump’s gag rule discourages highly qualified and trusted family planning providers from participating in the program and hinders millions of people from accessing high-quality family planning care."Here in New York, over 300,000 patients – including the most vulnerable among us – will be impacted, and we encourage the public to learn more about this unethical attempt to put politics before health care.”Background on Title XEstablished in 1970, the nation’s Title X program provides affordable birth control and reproductive health care to people with low incomes. Title X has had significant results, but the administration is destabilizing it so that it blocks patients from Planned Parenthood and other health care providers and pushes patients toward abstinence instead of the full range of birth control options.More than four million Americans rely on affordable birth control and reproductive health care services that are funded by Title X. The basic primary and preventive health care services provided by Title X include: • Wellness exams • Cervical and breast cancer screenings • Birth control • Contraception education • Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV testingTitle X in New York State:• In New York, Planned Parenthood serves 52 percent of Title X patients. (Other states where PP serves more than 50 percent of Title X patients in the state include Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Washington, Wisconsin, Utah and Vermont.)• In 2017, 187 health centers supported by the Title X program provided care to more than 310,000 New Yorkers.• It is estimated that in 2015, Title X services in New York prevented 59,200 unintended pregnancies. 83 percent of New York Title X patients have incomes at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level ($30,350 for an individual).• In NYS, almost half (40 percent) of Planned Parenthood’s health centers are in medically underserved areas.Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley conducts nearly 20,000 patient visits every year with five health centers across Dutchess, Ulster, Orange and Sullivan counties. For more information, contact Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley Communications Manager Lacey Seidman at 845-204-4768.