ADVOCACY

OPPOSE PROPOSED GAG RULE IMPACTING ACCESS TO CRITICAL WOMEN’S HEALTH CARE

In May, the Trump administration proposed new rules regarding the federal Title X Family Planning Program that would drastically affect women’s access to family planning services and health care.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

Submit a public comment to HHS expressing your opposition to the proposed new Title X funding rules
  • Comments, identified by “Family Planning” may be submitted by one of the following methods:
    • Federal eRulemaking Portal : http://www.regulations.gov
      • Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
    • Mail or Hand Delivery
      • Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Population Affairs, Attention: Family Planning, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Room 716G, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20201.
  • Comments received will be posted without change to
    • http:// www.regulations.gov
  • For further information, you may contact at HHS Valerie Huber at (202) 690-7694.

Contact HHS Secretary Alex Azar and let him know about your opposition to the rule.
  • Use our template letter to send an email. Be sure to insert your signature block and feel free to personalize.
  • Contact Secretary Azar on your own and state your support of Title X.
    • Email: Secretary@HHS.gov
    • Phone: 202-690-7000
    • Twitter: @SecAzar
WHAT IS TITLE X?

For decades, the Title X Family Planning Program has been an essential element of women’s access to health care, helping women have healthier families and lead healthier lives.

The federal program provides comprehensive family planning care for women and ensures high-quality health care regardless of their socioeconomic status, race, or ability to cover out-of-pocket costs associated with contraception services.

It is the only federal domestic program focused solely on providing women with critical reproductive health services related to family planning and contraception, including physical exams, prescriptions, laboratory exams, contraceptive supplies, and referrals when medically needed. The program also offers educational and counseling services for both providers and patients.

Title X clinics serve about 4 million individuals each year and fill a void in access to family planning services that would otherwise not be available to many women.

WHY ARE THE PROPOSED NEW REGULATIONS HARMFUL TO WOMEN?

REDUCES ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS 

The new rule takes away funding for family planning services from providers who also perform abortions, such as Planned Parenthood. Even though no federal funding is given for any type of abortion services, these providers would now be denied funding for other types of care. Patients who visit these providers would lose access to essential family planning and reproductive care. 

IMPOSES A DOMESTIC GAG RULE 

The new rule also prohibits doctors, nurses, hospitals, community health centers and clinics that receive federal Title X funds from referring women to clinics that provide abortions, even if they ask. This means that even providers who don’t perform abortions would still be barred from talking about the procedure with their patients. This would put doctors and other health care workers in a difficult position: If a patient with an unplanned pregnancy asks about her options, they would have to omit abortion from the list. If a patient asks specifically whether she can get an abortion, they would have to say no or refuse to discuss the issue.

DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTS LOW INCOME WOMEN 

Title X funding is mandated to focus on patients who are low-income or uninsured, or otherwise have difficulty getting health care. Two-thirds of patients who get care through the program live at or below the federal poverty line. If abortion providers were excluded from Title X, other Title X providers would have to increase their caseloads, which may not be feasible. This means many patients will simply go without contraceptive care, STI screenings, and other crucial health services.



OCWHP POSITION STATEMENT ON PROTECTING WOMEN’S HEALTH IN THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

The Orange County Women's Health Project has developed a Position Statement that explains why we support the Affordable Care Act in greater detail.