Press release


January 28, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) — Power to Decide today praised the Biden administration for issuing a Presidential memorandum rescinding the Global Gag Rule and directing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take immediate action to consider whether to rescind the Title X domestic gag rule and strengthen Medicaid. Further, the Administration took executive action to reopen the federal insurance marketplace, allowing more people to get health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“We are gratified by the Biden administration’s initial steps to help ensure all people are able to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, CEO of Power to Decide. “The Title X domestic gag rule has made it even harder for those struggling to make ends meet to access the contraceptive care they need, while also denying them full information about how they can access abortion services. As a gynecologist who has included abortion care as part of my practice for nearly 17 years, patients must be able to trust that their health care provider is delivering accurate and complete information regarding options and services available for their reproductive health care.”

The domestic gag rule requires health providers receiving Title X funds to withhold some information from patients about abortion services or lose a critical source of funding needed to serve their patients. Specifically, health centers are required to cease providing abortion care with non-Title X funds at sites that offer Title X supported services, such as contraceptive care, breast and cervical cancer screening and STI testing. Per the rule, abortion services, no matter how they are funded, must be performed at a separate physical site. The damage has been significant. In 2019, when the domestic gag rule went into effect, health centers served more than 800,000 (21%) fewer patients compared to 2018.

Unfortunately, today’s announcement did not include a commitment to issuing a budget proposal that eliminates the discriminatory Hyde Amendment.  

Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has denied insurance coverage of abortion care for people with limited financial resources who depend on Medicaid for their health insurance. The Hyde Amendment is annual legislative language attached to spending bills that bars federal funding from covering abortion care. Currently, more than seven million women of reproductive age who depend on Medicaid for their health insurance do not have coverage for abortion care because of the Hyde Amendment. More than half of them (51%) are women of color. 

“We are grateful for the administration’s initial actions to restore people’s access to reproductive health care,” Dr. McDonald-Mosley added. “We remain hopeful that these initial steps will be followed by administrative action which would eliminate the harmful Hyde Amendment. In doing so, the administration would help ensure all people, particularly those of limited financial resources, can access the full spectrum of reproductive health care they need and deserve.”

Currently, there are more than 19 million women in need of publicly funded contraception who live in contraceptive deserts. These women lack reasonable access in their county to a health center that offers the full range of contraceptive methods. 

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.