The Biden Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule Monday that reverses the Trump administration’s policy of prohibiting taxpayer funds to family planning clinics that refer clients for abortion.
Our nation’s family planning clinics play a critical role in delivering health care, and today more than ever, we are making clear that access to quality family planning care includes accurate information and referrals—based on a patient’s needs and direction.
Work harder, middle class Americans…you’ve got other people’s abortions to pay for! https://t.co/WM7AuY3hKh
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 28, 2021
In February 2019, the Trump administration issued a final rule that underscored that federal taxpayer funds provided for the Title X family planning grant program may not be used to support abortion in any way.
The Trump HHS rule blocked federal family planning grants to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers who referred girls and women for abortions as part of their family planning services.
Specifically, the regulation prohibited the use of the funds to “perform, promote, refer for, or support abortion as a method of family planning.”
The rule reinstated President Ronald Reagan’s “Protect Life Rule,” which barred the “co-location” of federally funded family planning clinics with abortion clinics.
The Trump administration rule established a clear line between family planning and abortion. Planned Parenthood and other abortion vendors who wished to continue to receive Title X family planning grants would be required to move their abortion services offsite to an entirely different location.
Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson exclaimed in an interview with Business Insider she is “completely over the moon” that abortion rights champion Kamala Harris is now vice president. https://t.co/LYs7YsBJE1
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 3, 2021
Planned Parenthood celebrated the reversal of the Trump Title X rule:
Breaking: the Biden admin is ending the gag rule on #TitleX funding. Our health centers look forward to once again providing access to affordable, high-quality sexual & reproductive health care through this program. Thanks, @POTUS and everyone who organized to make this happen! pic.twitter.com/Uft3HrSGo6
— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) October 4, 2021
Alexis McGill Johnson, CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement:
The end of the Title X gag rule is a major victory for patients, access to sexual and reproductive health care, and health equity. Title X is a critical piece of our social safety net that can, and should, ensure that people with low incomes can access essential health care without forcing providers to withhold referrals for all of the options available to them. Given the attacks on abortion in Texas and across the country, it’s more important than ever that patients can access their choice of birth control and other health care through Title X — and that it is easily available.
The abortion industry giant, nevertheless, was not completely satisfied with the Biden administration’s final rule, which, apparently, allows providers some leeway, depending on their personal beliefs.
Although abortions aren’t covered by Title X funding, abortion is health care, and health care is a human right. Pregnant patients deserve to hear their full range of options and they are the only ones who should be able to decide whether or not to get an abortion.
— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) October 4, 2021
The Planned Parenthood CEO continued:
That’s why it’s disappointing the final rule will allow providers to refuse to counsel or refer patients for abortions due to their own personal beliefs. Due to centuries of systemic inequities that have blocked access to health care and economic advancement, Title X disproportionately serves Black and Latino patients, and people living in rural communities. These communities deserve access to comprehensive, accurate medical information and care.
The Associated Press reported as well on the apparent disagreement between Planned Parenthood and the Biden administration:
Planned Parenthood, the biggest service provider, said on Twitter its health centers look forward to returning. But the group criticized part of the Biden administration rule that allows individual clinicians who object to abortion not to provide referrals. The administration said that’s “in accordance with applicable federal law.”
Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director and founder of pro-life ministry And Then There Were None, said in a statement sent to Breitbart News abortion providers and clinics that refer women and girls for abortions “should never receive taxpayer funding.”
“If abortion advocates want government out of their bedroom, then they should stop taking government money,” she asserted, elaborating:
While Title X money should not go to clinics that refer for abortion, Planned Parenthood and their allies are experts at getting around this minor rule and now, thanks to Biden and all those who voted for him, they no longer need to hide it. Women deserve better than abortion and they certainly deserve better than going to clinics that see them only as a number to pad their bottom line.
Joe Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris as his VP makes his ticket the “most pro-abortion presidential ticket in history,” pro-life leaders say. https://t.co/PI30xkCmOT
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 14, 2020
The announcement of the proposed rule, titled “Ensuring access to equitable, affordable, client-centered, quality family planning services,” said HHS intends to return to the Title X family planning regulations first enacted by the Clinton administration in 2000.
The final rule becomes effective on November 8.