Trump-era “domestic gag rule” reversed thanks to Biden administration

“The end of the Title X gag rule is a major victory for patients, access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, and health equity.”

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The Biden administration just made the decision to reverse a Trump-era “domestic gag rule.”  

According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, the domestic gag rule prohibits providers in the Title X network from referring patients for abortion care. It also requires physical and financial separation of Title X services from abortion care and rescinds a prior requirement that all providers in the Title X network offer information and counseling to pregnant patients on their options—including prenatal care and delivery, infant care, foster care and adoption, and abortion care—in a manner that is nondirective and does not steer patients toward a particular option.

Nearly 1,000 clinics dropped out of the Title X program—which subsidizes contraception, cancer screenings, and other care for low-income patients—in 2019 due to the rule implemented under former President Donald Trump, reports Common Dreams

This new rule reversal is set to go into effect on November 8th, 2021.

“This rule is a step forward for family planning care as it aims to strengthen and restore our nation’s Title X program. Our nation’s family planning clinics play a critical role in delivering healthcare. 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,” says the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra.

With productive rights being at the forefront of many activistic causes recently, this is a huge victory. Many human rights activists and lawmakers have stepped forward cheering on this decision. 

“No matter where patients receive their healthcare, they should have information about the full spectrum of options available to them when they are pregnant, without political interference. The Title X family planning program ensures that no matter how much money you make, people have access to information that is timely, evidence-based, and accurate covering all options, ” says Dr. Tracey Wilkinson, an Indiana-based board member of Physicians for Reproductive Health. 

“The end of the Title X gag rule is a major victory for patients, access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, and health equity. Title X is a critical piece of our social safety net that can, and should, ensure that people with low incomes can access essential healthcare without forcing providers to withhold referrals for all of the options available to them,” says Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).

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