U.S. Supreme Court Grants Review of Challenge to Trump-era Title X Regulations

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Statement by Julie Rabinovitz, President + CEO, Essential Access Health

“Title X patients can’t wait for our case to play out through the judicial process. We need swift and meaningful executive action to restore Title X’s mandate to provide comprehensive family planning services and suspend enforcement of the Trump-era regulations that put the health and well-being of Title X patients at risk.

 “The Biden-Harris administration has signaled their intent to fix Title X in line with their stated priorities related to advancing and protecting health access and equity nationwide, and they must do so without delay.

 “Relief can’t come soon enough for the millions of low-income and uninsured patients who depend on Title X for essential health care across the country. The regulations have resulted in a two-tiered health system that dictates a lower standard of care for low-income patients that have limited options for where they can go for time-sensitive sexual and reproductive health services and institute an intentional and direct attack on women’s bodily autonomy - disproportionately impacting women of color and people living in rural communities.

“The regulations have also devastated the nation’s family planning safety-net. Roughly one in every four Title X providers has withdrawn from the program in response to the rule’s implementation last year, jeopardizing access to time-sensitive care for 1.6 million patients nationwide. As of August 2020, six states are without any Title X service site at all. Prior to the regulations taking effect, California’s diverse statewide Title X network served nearly 1,000,000 patients each year at 365 health centers in 38 of California’s 58 counties. As a result of the regulations being fully implemented last March, and after releasing a statewide application process for providers to join the Title X program, less than 200,000 patients were served by 238 Title X sites in 20 California counties in 2020.

“Title X was established over 50 years ago with strong bi-partisan support to provide a pathway for patients across the country to access comprehensive contraceptive care and non-directive pregnancy options counseling. We call on President Biden and the Department of Health and Human Services to move quickly to ensure that Title X patients can get the information and health care they need – with dignity and respect.”

As the administrator of the Title X program in California – the largest Title X system in the nation – Essential Access Health petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision to allow the Title X regulations to remain in effect. Essential Access Health petitioned the Court with partners including the American Medical Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Essential Access Health has been a Title X grantee since the program was established in 1970 with bi-partisan support.

www.essentialaccess.org / @EssnAccessHlth