Countering the Gag Rule, inhumane immigration policy, and limits on public assistance for women in poverty: Your civic action to-do list for 6-24-19

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3. The Trump administration’s Title X gag rule makes it illegal for providers in the program to share how and where women can safely and legally access abortion. This new statute will disproportionately impact low-income women and women of color, impeding access to comprehensive care for millions. Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled to allow the gag rule to take effect in every state but Maryland (which passed a law rejecting any federal family planning funding tied to a gag rule).

In a nutshell: The House of Representatives passed a spending package last week that included major pro-choice wins and blocked the Title X gag rule. It is now imperative that the Senate follows suit and protects care for the 4 million people who receive birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, and other reproductive health services from Title X clinics.

Take Action: Tell your Senators that patients across the country count on Title X clinics for health care and now is not the time to deprive women of their reproductive agency. Already, 1 in 3 women of reproductive age – more than 25 million people – lives in a state where abortion could be outlawed if Roe is overturned.

2. Family separations strip immigrants of dignity, autonomy, and justice. Many immigrant women fleeing domestic violence and extreme danger with their children continue to live in distress after they come to the U.S. seeking asylum. Current immigration policy dehumanizes women at the border, subjecting them to trauma and harassment. It also chills reporting of sexual violence among women who have settled in the U.S., as they drop complaints due to fear of deportation. We cannot allow inhumane policies to continue to devastate immigrant families and trap women in cycles of abuse.

In a nutshell: On Saturday, the Trump administration indicated that it would delay a series of immigration raids aimed at separating and deporting thousands of families across the country. Trump threatened to carry out these raids in two weeks unless Congress makes changes he is seeking in asylum laws. 

Take Action: Families belong together, and we must fight against these roundups to protect vulnerable women and children. Immediate steps you can take include sharing these resources to prepare immigrants for possible encounters will U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and calling the MigraWatch Hotline (1-844-363-1423) to report ICE activity.

1. The Trump Administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is considering a proposal to redefine the poverty threshold in order to cut benefits for thousands of women, children, and families who depend on health care and other critical assistance programs. This change would especially impact survivors of domestic violence who utilize Medicaid for health care and counseling.

In a nutshell: OMB’s potential recalibration of poverty parameters and eligibility for public assistance would leave many women and survivors without health care and resources. OMB received more than 2,000 public comments on the proposal.

Take Action: Inform your Members of Congress of your opposition to the proposal to shrink the poverty line and learn more about the effects of this proposal from the Coalition on Human Needs.