Washington, D.C. — Today, the Biden administration published a proposed rule to eliminate the domestic gag rule on Title X providers put in place under the previous administration. If finalized, the rule would begin to pave the way for evidence-based family planning providers such as Planned Parenthood and independent family planning providers to rejoin the nation’s only domestic family planning program. Jamille Fields Allsbrook, director of Women’s Health and Rights at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement on the announcement:
Women should be able to make informed decisions about their health care, including their reproductive health care decisions, without government interference. Today’s announcement from the Biden administration is a critical step toward reversing the previous administration’s domestic gag rule, restoring the integrity of the patient-provider relationship in the Title X program and providing people—particularly low-income individuals, people of color, and people in rural communities—with more affordable options for preventive and reproductive health care, including cancer screenings, contraceptive care, and HIV/STD testing and treatment. This important development comes on the heels of the president requesting that Congress increase the program’s budget. The program is needed now more than ever given that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many people, disproportionately women, losing access to job-based insurance, increasing the need for no- or low-cost health care services.
The domestic gag rule prioritized sending federal resources to anti-science and anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers that withhold critical medical information from patients to advance an ideological agenda and deny people access to reproductive health care. Moreover, the rule prohibited Title X providers from providing comprehensive health care and services—including abortion counseling and referrals—and led to the program’s capacity being cut in half and putting at risk health care access for 1.6 million people. If finalized, the proposed rule would reverse this shift and build back a critical health care safety net.
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