Audrey Ann Ross

Statement from AccessMatters Applauding Decision to Block Gag Rule Threatening Nation’s Family Planning Program

[PHILADELPHIA (April 25, 2019) ]: Late Thursday, Judge Stanley Bastian of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District issued a decision in one of several lawsuits seeking injunctions to block the final rule governing the Title X Family Planning Program from going into effect.

Following today’s decision, Melissa Weiler Gerber, AccessMatters’ President & CEO released the following statement:

“AccessMatters applauds the decision of Judge Stanley Bastian of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington to grant an injunction blocking the Administration’s misguided “gag rule” targeting Title X – the nation’s family planning program. The Administration’s final rule would threaten public health by imposing requirements that jeopardize confidentiality for patients, eliminate access to unbiased and comprehensive pregnancy options counseling, and interfere with the patient-provider relationship.

We are overjoyed that patients can still access the patient-centered, confidential, and comprehensive care they’ve come to rely upon from Title X Family Planning providers across the country. As the steward of the Title X family planning program in Southeastern Pennsylvania for over 45 years, our top priority has always been to ensure patients receive the accurate, unbiased, patient-centered information and care they need to make informed personal decisions and to thrive. With this ruling, patients can feel confident that they will continue receiving this level of care when seeking family planning services at Title X providers.

We congratulate our national partners at the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for this monumental win, and we remain steadfast in our shared commitment to protect the integrity of this program in the days to come as the full case against the final rule moves forward in court. We thank Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro for his swift participation in a separate lawsuit with several other states also seeking an injunction to block the final rule. We are proud to have supported that lawsuit with information about the impact the final rule would have on the Title X Program in Southeastern Pennsylvania. We are honored to stand alongside our partners who have gone to bat for us, for our providers, and most importantly, for the patients we collectively serve. 

On behalf of over 100,000 people served annually by AccessMatters’ Network of Title X Family Planning providers, we cannot express our gratitude enough to all who advocated against this rule to defend confidential, comprehensive, non-directive, patient-centered care – the hallmarks of quality family planning services that all clients deserve.”

-Melissa Weiler Gerber, President & CEO


AccessMatters is the catalyst for providing access to sexual and reproductive health care for teens and adults in need reaching over 115,000 individuals annually. For more information about AccessMatters programs, visit, @AccessMatters4U on Twitter, and @AccessMatters on Facebook.

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