The lead editorial in the May 22 Portland Press Herald (“Our View: ‘Gag rule’ would affect poor women’s health care“) includes this statement: “Under the gag rule, doctors won’t be able to receive government reimbursement for any family planning services at all if the providers tell patients that abortion is one of the options available.” This is an inaccurate and misleading statement.

The new Title X proposal made public so far would require physical separation of family planning and abortion facilities and ban abortion referrals, but it would not explicitly forbid abortion counseling to pregnant women.

Planned Parenthood officials say this is a distinction without a difference, effectively a gag rule.

Nevertheless, your editorial fails to clarify, and Planned Parenthood fails to acknowledge, the fact that abortion counseling, but not abortion referrals, would be allowed under the new rule – a fine but relevant qualification.

I suggest you publish a correction.

Walter J. Eno


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