March 1, 2019 Press Release

Congress Demands Answers: What Role Did Anti-Abortion Lobby Play in Drafting Trump’s Gag Rule?

Equity Forward also seeking similar information in lawsuit filed this week

03.01.19 – Earlier today, Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar demanding justification for the Title X gag rule finalized last week.

The letter specifically seeks information on the extent to which the anti-abortion lobby influenced the final rule. Earlier this week, Equity Forward sued HHS seeking similar information after the agency failed to comply with multiple FOIA requests regarding correspondence between HHS and a variety of anti-abortion groups, including Susan B Anthony (SBA) List, Family Research Council and Americans United for Life.  

“Like Equity Forward, Congress is demanding answers on the role the anti-abortion lobby played in Trump’s dangerous and discriminatory gag rule,” said Mary Alice Carter, Executive Director of Equity Forward.  

“The millions of patients who rely on Title X deserve to know who is pulling the strings at our nation’s department and which special interest groups have had a hand in potentially robbing them of care. Health care decisions should be made by relying on science and evidence, not on the narrow and extreme worldview espoused by the anti-abortion lobby.”  

HHS has a long history of taking its cues from the anti-abortion lobby; from soliciting input on plans to potentially cut nearly $100 million in lifesaving research from anti-abortion interest groups to keeping extreme anti-abortion opponents like Scott Lloyd and Matthew Bowman in office long after they’ve proven they are no longer fit to serve, it is evident that the anti-abortion lobby is pulling the strings at Secretary Azar’s HHS.

About Equity Forward

Equity Forward is a watchdog project that seeks to ensure transparency and accountability among anti-reproductive health groups and individuals. In addition to running, an extensive website with a library of research on nearly 50 political appointees at our nation's health department who are hostile to reproductive health care, Equity Forward also runs, which calls on Secretary Azar not to cut nearly $100 million in lifesaving research at the behest of the anti-abortion lobby.