The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published its unofficial final rule today to make substantive changes to the Title X Family Planning Program. The rule will effectively bar many, though not all, Planned Parenthood clinics from receiving Title X funds. Under the rule, Title X family planning clinics will still be required to provide an array of contraceptive services; however, Title X recipients will be permitted to partner or subcontract with groups that stress only abstinence or natural family planning. It will also bar health care providers that accept Title X funding from making any abortion referrals or performing abortions at the same facilities where they provide Title X family planning services. AMCHP submitted comments on the potentially harmful effects of such a proposal in July 2018 during the comment period for the proposed rule.
Of note, the unofficial final rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register, which is the final step required to start the countdown to implementation of the rule. While it is possible that the text could change prior to final publication, the final rule is likely to be substantially similar to the unofficial document posted by HHS today. Different provisions within the final rule will be implemented no earlier than 60 days after it has been published in the Federal Register and may be further delayed or outright denied based on legal challenges.
AMCHP is currently analyzing the unofficial final rule and will provide additional information in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, please direct questions to AMCHP’s Director of Policy & Government Affairs Amy Haddad at firstname.lastname@example.org.