On Monday, the Biden administration reversed a Trump-era policy that blocked federal funding to family planning clinics that give referrals to patients for abortions.
Under former President Donald Trump, clinics were banned from referring patients for abortions. The Department of Health and Human Services said the new regulation would restore Title X money to abortion-referring clinics. It is set to take effect on November 8.
Title X funding covers much-needed health care services such as birth control and STD screenings for low-income Americans. Last year, an HHS report found a 63 percent decrease in family planning clients between 2018 and 2020. With the funds restored, Americans who often cannot afford basic health care will hopefully have the same access as well-off patients.
“This rule is a step forward for family planning care as it aims to strengthen and restore our nation’s Title X program,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in a statement. “Our nation’s family planning clinics play a critical role in delivering health care, 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.”
The announcement comes as abortion has recently become a hot topic. States like Texas and Mississippi, among others, have implemented strict abortion laws. The law in Texas bans abortions after six weeks before many women even know they are pregnant. The law also gives private citizens the ability to file a lawsuit against abortion providers and anyone who assists a woman obtain an abortion.
Many fear that with a conservative Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal, could be in jeopardy of being overturned.
In a Twitter post, Planned Parenthood called Monday’s rule change “HUGE news for providers + millions of patients cut off from sexual/reproductive health services under the Trump administration — like STD treatment, cancer screenings, pre-pregnancy care, & counseling.”