The Biden administration yesterday reversed a Trump-era rule blocking federally funded family planning clinics from providing abortion referrals, The Hill reports.
The US Department of Health and Human Services rule, set to take effect on November 8, fulfills a White House promise to lift the restrictions on Title X funding, which has supported clinics focused on serving low-income populations for half a century.
- Title X never allowed direct funding for abortion care, but the Trump administration went further, banning clinics from discussing abortion—dubbed the “gag rule.”
- Trump’s rule pushed about a quarter of clinics—including Planned Parenthood, which previously had served about 40% of Title X patients—to forfeit the funding rather than comply.
One caveat: Planned Parenthood hailed the new ruling, but president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson criticized “disappointing” language allowing Title X providers to decline to refer patients for abortions due to their personal beliefs: “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,” she tweeted.