Biden-Harris Administration Reverses Title X Restrictions on Reproductive Health Services

This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final regulation governing the Title X Family Planning Program, effectively reversing restrictions on patient referrals to certain reproductive health services established by the Trump Administration in 2019.

Recall, the rules put into place by the Trump Administration barred Title X providers from referring patients to abortion services and specified that clinics referring patients to services would no longer qualify for Title X funds to provide low-income women with comprehensive family planning and reproductive health services. The Trump Administration, after winning several legal challenges, finalized the rule and began enforcement in 2019. Many reproductive health services providers, including Planned Parenthood, exited the Title X program following the finalized rules.

The Biden-Harris Administration unveiled its proposed rule earlier this year seeking to replace and reverse the restrictions on patient referrals and funding eligibility. This week, HHS finalized its proposed rule to realign the nation’s family planning program with nationally recognized standards of care and reaffirm the program’s commitment to quality and equity. The final rule is set to become effective on November 8, 2021.

In California, eight local health departments have served as Title X subgrantees, delivering reproductive health services to residents at 46 sites in those jurisdictions. LHDs that are not direct subgrantees work closely with community-based Title X providers to ensure access to essential health services.

Additional information on the finalized Biden-Harris Title X rule is available here.