Biden administration to undo Trump changes to federal family planning program
The Biden administration announced it is planning to rewrite the rules for the Title X federally funded family planning program to undo changes made by the Trump administration.
Those changes required family planning providers participating in the program to stop providing or promoting abortions to remain eligible for funding.
The rule, which has been in effect for more than a year now, resulted in Planned Parenthood and other providers leaving the program, meaning some states no longer have any Title X providers.
According to an announcement, the goal is to make the program “substantively similar” to the way it was run from 2000 until the Trump administration changed the rules in 2019.
The announcement comes after the Supreme Court last month agreed to hear a challenge to the rules brought by the American Medical Association, Planned Parenthood and others.
Biden’s Justice Department last week asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the case.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said it expects to publish a proposed rule no later than April 15, with a final rule in place by the fall, which would provide enough time for clinics that left the program to reapply.
Title X funds thousands of providers across the country offering contraception, cancer screenings and other services to millions of low-income women and men.
The Trump administration issued rules in 2019 banning any providers that receive Title X funds from referring people for abortions while mandating referrals to prenatal services for all pregnant patients.
After the rules took effect, about one-quarter of nearly 4,000 providers left the program, arguing they could not in good conscience agree not to provide patients with information about abortion. As a result, several states were left with no Title X providers.
President Biden ordered HHS to review the changes in his second week in office, telling the agency to ensure there were no “undue restrictions on the use of federal funds or women’s access to complete medical information.”
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