FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This statement can be attributed to Denise Hyater-Lindenmuth, Executive Director of the National Women’s Health Network. Contact Director of Communications Adele Scheiber at [email protected] or by phone at 631 – 538 – 6348 for comments and questions.
On Thursday, November 30th, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that affirms the ability of Title X providers to make abortion referrals. Title X statute prohibits the use of federal funds to finance abortion services directly as a means of family planning, but the original text does not expressly forbid abortion referrals. Attacks against the Title X program and abortion referrals originate from the 2019 domestic gag rule which was later reversed by the Biden Administration in 2021. This rule change unfairly prevented Title X providers from issuing abortion referrals to patients in need. In their decision, the court cited a previous Supreme Court case which found that the statute does not "speak directly to the issues of counseling, referral, advocacy, or program integrity.”
Although the Network is pleased by the appeals court's decision, we recognize that this case is one of many attempts by anti-abortion advocates to disrupt abortion access. First established in 1970, the Title X program has become an essential part of America's public health safety net as it serves more than 195 million people in the United States. For more than 50 years, the Title X program has improved women's health by providing essential care like birth control, STI screenings and treatment, cancer screenings, and other key sexual and reproductive health care services. More importantly, the Title X program provides care to medically underserved communities who may not otherwise have access to high-quality family planning and preventive services. Women across the United States rely on Title X providers to provide them with critical health information without unnecessary restrictions.
The National Women's Health Network, a 501c3 not for profit, represents the health interests of women across the life continuum with an intersectional focus on sexual and reproductive health, maternal health and the health and well-being of aging women. We work to improve women’s health outcomes through state and federal advocacy, consumer health education, and grassroots technical assistance initiatives. For more information about or programs, services and initiatives visit www.nwhn.org.