Former President Donald Trump gained praise from the Religious Right for his position on issues such as abortion. The Trump administration had established a rule prohibiting the use of Title X funds allocated for federal family planning from being used to pay for abortions or for referring patients to have abortions. The Biden administration has chosen to reverse Trump’s “Protect Life” rule.
Ryan Foley of the Christian Post writes:
Abortion organizations referred to the regulation preventing family planning clinics from engaging in discussions or referrals for abortion as a “gag rule.” The “Protect Life” rule faced several court challenges, and appellate courts came to differing conclusions about its constitutionality.
The Biden administration’s proposed revisions to the rule would “remove the 2019 Final Rule requirements for strict physical and financial separation, allow Title X providers to provide nondirective options counseling, and allow Title X providers to refer their patients for all family planning related services desired by the client, including abortion services.”
The Department of Health and Human Services concluded that “the 2019 rule is not in the best interest of public health.”
HHS maintains that “the proposed rule will retain the longstanding prohibition on directly promoting and performing abortion,” in addition to stressing that “individuals and grantees with conscience objections will not be required to follow the proposed rule’s requirements regarding abortion counseling and referral.”
However, the proposed rule change includes a requirement for “service sites that do not offer a broad range of family planning methods and services on-site to provide clients with a referral for where they can access the broad range and ensure, when feasible, that the referral provided does not unduly limit client access to services, such as excessive distance or travel time to the referral location or referral to services that are cost-prohibitive for the client.”
Read the full article here.