Planned Parenthood Announces Withdrawal from Title X Program

Citing recent changes to rules governing the federal Title X family planning program, Planned Parenthood this week announced its nationwide exit from the program. Recall, the Trump Administration in March set forth a final rule that prohibits Title X from referring patients to certain reproductive health services and further specifies that clinics that refer patients to other facilities for abortion services would no longer qualify for Title X funds to provide low-income women with comprehensive family planning and preventive health services.

Planned Parenthood served about 40 percent of the country’s four million Title X recipients. A handful of Title X providers in other states, including Maine, Colorado, and New York, have already exited the program, while some states plan to stay in the Title X program but not utilize any federal funds while legal challenges continue. Recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), however, informed grantees that they would need to exit the program if they were unable to demonstrate “good-faith efforts” to comply with the new regulations.

Legal challenges from California, nearly a dozen other states, and Planned Parenthood continue to move forward after the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in June invalidated nationwide injunctions previously put into place by lower court judges in several states. With the invalidation of the injunctions, the Trump Administration was cleared to begin enforcing its new rules governing the program. Arguments in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals are set for late September while another lawsuit was just recently appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. The broader impact of the Trump Administration’s Title X regulations and results of pending legal challenges remain to be seen.