Intended for healthcare professionals


Abortion: US appeal court upholds Trump’s “gag rule” that stops doctors from facilitating provision

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 26 February 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m762
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

A US federal appeal court has upheld a Trump administration rule that forbids doctors who provide federally funded reproductive health services from recommending abortion providers or referring patients to them.

An 11 judge panel of the US Ninth Circuit was split along party lines, as seven Republican appointed judges voted on the administration’s side and four judges appointed by Democrat presidents dissented.1

The ruling affects clinics that accept Title X (“Title 10”) funding, named after a federal programme that provides about $280m (£216m; €257m) in reproductive health services each year, mostly to women on low incomes.

Title X clinics have never been permitted to provide abortions, but …

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