New Title X Regulations: Implications for Women and Family Planning Providers

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KFF - Laurie Sobel, Alina Salganicoff, and Brittni Frederiksen

On March 4, 2019, the Trump Administration published a new final regulation that restores Reagan-era restrictions regarding abortion and Title X.

The Trump Administration’s new final regulations for the federal Title X family planning program make significant changes to the program and will:

  • Block the availability of federal funds to family planning providers that also offer abortion services;
  • Prohibit sites that participate in Title X from referring pregnant clients to abortion providers;
  • Eliminate current requirements for Title X sites to provide non-directive pregnancy options counseling that includes information about prenatal care/delivery, adoption, and abortion;
  • Prioritize providers that offer comprehensive primary health care services over those that specialize in reproductive health services; and
  • Encourage participation by “non-traditional” organizations such as those that only offer one method of family planning, such as fertility awareness-based methods.
  • Sites that do not offer abortion services may still qualify for Title X funds, but may not participate in the program because of concerns about clinical standards of care, medical liability, and burdensome administrative requirements.
  • If implemented, the changes to Title X will shrink the network of participating providers and could reduce the scope of services offered to low-income and uninsured people that rely on Title X-funded clinics for their family planning care.
  • The attorneys general from 23 states, major family planning organizations and the American Medical Association have filed legal challenges in federal court to block the implementation of the regulations, claiming the new rules violate the Constitution and federal law. The courts will likely make a decision on whether to stay the implementation before May 3rd, when some of the provisions of the regulation are scheduled to take effect.

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