Press release


October 5, 2021

Washington, D.C. — The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule for the Title X Family Planning Program that eliminates the Trump Administration’s harmful “domestic gag rule.” The new rule eliminates restrictions and paves the way for health centers forced out of the program to rejoin the network of Title X clinics. It will take effect November 8, 2021.

Since it was enacted in 2019, the domestic gag rule has forced health centers that receive Title X funds to withhold information from patients about abortion services and care. In addition, health centers have been required to cease providing abortion care with non-Title X funds unless they do so at a physically separate site.  

The Title X Family Planning Program is critical to ensuring all people have access to the full range of contraceptive options, critical screenings for sexually transmitted diseases, cervical and breast cancer as well as Pap tests and so much more. 

In response, Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, CEO, Power to Decide issued the following statement: 

“We are extremely grateful for the reversal of the gag rule which denied care to roughly 1.5 million people. The new rule came at a time when access to quality and affordable contraceptive services and more are desperately needed, and we look forward to health clinics rejoining the Title X network. 

“The full ramifications of the ‘domestic gag rule’ will take years to assess and remedy. We know already that as a result of the rule, over 900 health centers offering affordable family planning left the Title X Family Planning Program. In fact, HHS estimates that between 2018 and 2020 there was a total decrease of people served by Title X clinics of 2.4 million. Of that amount, 63% or (1.5 million) was the direct result of the gag rule.

“The new rule is a critical step in rebuilding Title X and ensuring that people who face the greatest barriers to care have access to quality family planning services. Per the new rule, providers can provide their patients accurate and complete information regarding all their reproductive health care options. The new rule affirms the Title X Program’s commitment to patient confidentiality protections and adolescent-friendly care. It also allows for services to be delivered through telehealth, sets a strong standard for Title X grantees’ commitment to health equity and ensures that pregnant patients receive non-directive counseling.

“We commend the Biden-Harris administration for this rule and hope Congress will build on this step by providing a significant increase in Title X funding for FY 2022. Increasing the funding for this critical program will help to expand access to the contraceptive care and other services and information that all people—regardless of who they are and where they live—need to live their best life.”  

Power to Decide is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to ensure all people—no matter who they are, where they live or what their economic status might be—have the power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. Please visit us at www.PowerToDecide.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.