The Biden administration on Monday reversed a Trump-era rule banning family planning and reproductive health care clinics that provide abortion referrals and services from receiving federal funds.
The rescinding of the Trump rule by Biden will pave the way for major providers like Planned Parenthood to rejoin Title X, the federal family planning program created nearly 50 years ago to fill gaps in health care access and affordability, particularly for those in rural or underserved areas.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced its last regulation to finalize the reversal. The Biden rule will return the Title X program to how it functioned between 2000 and 2019, and will take effect on November 8.
“This rule is a step forward for family planning care as it aims to strengthen and restore our nation’s Title X program,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement on Monday. Becerra added, “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.”
In a May 2018 speech, then President Donald Trump promoted his administration’s impending rule change as a historic announcement that fulfilled a campaign promise.
At the time Trump said, “For decades, American taxpayers have been wrongfully forced to subsidize the abortion industry through Title X federal funding.” The Trump restriction went into effect in 2019.
Title X had always prohibited direct funding from going to abortion care, but with the Trump administration’s rule, these clinics were not allowed to refer patients for abortions, in what critics and reproductive rights called a gag rule.
The Biden administration’s move comes as it is challenging a Texas abortion law that sparked protests over the weekend. The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to declare the law, which bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant, invalid.
In a report by HHS, it was stated under the Trump rule the clinics family planning patients dropped 2.4 million between 2018 to 2020 and 1.5 million could be attributed to the Trump rule change.
Maybe President Trump should be credited for the saving of 1.5 babies lives in that same time frame. Or at least gave the mother’s additional time to think about their decisions.