POWER TO DECIDE HAILS PROPOSED RULE THAT WOULD ELIMINATE THE DOMESTIC GAG RULE
(Washington, D.C.) — Today, the Department of Health and Human services (HHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would reverse the harmful “domestic gag rule.” Put in place by the Trump administration, the rule prevented Title X funding from going to health centers that refer patients for abortion care or provide abortion care with non-Title X funds. As a result, more than 900 health centers that offer high-quality affordable contraceptive care left the Title X program, leaving patients with fewer options for care. The NPRM released today would reverse this policy and strengthen the Title X Family Planning Program.
In response, Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, CEO, Power to Decide, issued the following statement:
“All people no matter who they are or where they live deserve the power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. The proposed rule released by HHS will help to restore critical access to high-quality reproductive health services, including the full range of contraceptive options, STI screenings, Pap tests and other cancer screenings at health centers that mainly serve the uninsured and people with low incomes.
“Title X health centers have continued to provide high-quality contraceptive care despite the program being significantly underfunded and the harmful domestic gag rule. However, the gag rule caused more than 900 health centers to leave the Title X program, resulting in large declines in the number of patients served. In fact, between 2018 and 2019—when the gag rule went into effect—the Title X program served 844,000 fewer patients, a 22% decline in a single year.
“The domestic gag rule more than undermined the integrity of the Title X program, it worked to prevent people with low incomes from accessing the reproductive health services they need, with the burden falling hardest on Black and brown people. We appreciate the actions of the Biden-Harris administration and this new rule that will help to undo the damage to the Title X program and strengthen the program’s commitment to equity. But to fully realize the promise of this proposed rule, the program also requires additional annual funding to meet the needs of our communities. It’s estimated that approximately $737 million is needed each year to fully meet the needs of people who depend on these health centers. Funding at this level would not only restore the integrity of the program, but also significantly expand access to affordable and high-quality contraception for people struggling to make ends meet.”
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 or have a child. Please visit us at www.PowerToDecide.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.