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Fact Sheet: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Ensuring Access to Equitable, Affordable, Client-Centered, Quality Family Planning Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is proposing a new rule to revise the Title X family planning program regulations. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), entitled “Ensuring access to equitable, affordable, client-centered, quality family planning services” will be open for comment for 30 days starting Thursday, April 15, 2021. HHS welcomes public comment on this proposed rule.

Background

The Title X Family Planning Program is the only federal grant program dedicated to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services.  Enacted in 1970 as part of the Public Health Service Act, the Title X family planning program has played a critical role in ensuring access to family planning and preventive health services including breast and cervical cancer screening and STI/HIV testing to all who want and need them. Title X authorizing legislation requires that projects provide a broad range of effective and acceptable family planning methods and services, including fertility awareness-based methods, infertility services, and services for adolescents. By law, priority is given to persons from low-income families.

Title X-funded clinics are located across the nation within state and local health departments, hospitals, and community-based non-profits.

The Department of Health and Human Services proposes to revise the Title X rules to strengthen the program and ensure access to equitable, affordable, client-centered, quality family planning services for all clients, especially for low-income clients. Advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality, is a priority for the Department.

PROPOSED CHANGE

HHS proposes to revise the rules issued on March 4, 2019 (84 FR 7714), establishing standards for compliance by family planning services projects authorized by Title X of the Public Health Service Act. Those rules have undermined the public health of the population the program is meant to serve. The Department proposes to revise the 2019 rules by readopting the 2000 regulations (65 FR 41270), with several modifications needed to strengthen the program and ensure access to equitable, affordable, client-centered, quality family planning services for all clients, especially for low-income clients.

For more information, please visit: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2021-07762/ensuring-access-to-equitable-affordable-client-centered-quality-family-planning-services. There is a 30-day comment period on the proposed rule.

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Author: ASH Media

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