The NWHN’s Statement on Title X Rule Release

The following statement can be attributed to Sarah Christopherson, Policy Advocacy Director at the National Women’s Health Network.

Washington, D.C. -- Today, the Trump-Pence administration is once again attacking women’s reproductive health. Last year, HHS rushed through a proposed rule to gut Title X, the country’s only domestic family planning grant program. This afternoon, the administration released what is certain to be the final version of that rule.

Unless it is blocked by the courts, the final rule will deny millions of low-income people access to life-saving family planning and reproductive health services at clinics they know and trust. Instead, the rule funnels millions of taxpayer dollars to fake, often religiously affiliated clinics which offer abstinence-only education and fertility awareness instead of the full range of contraceptive methods.

Furthermore, this rule would essentially “gag” medical personnel who work for Title X providers by instructing them to offer intentionally confusing information if a patient requests an abortion referral. But the rule is much more than a gag rule. These changes would also seriously undermine a pregnant person’s ability to seek abortion services in the United States and could lead some clinics to close.

“This is another shocking but not surprising step from an administration that has attacked women’s health at every turn. When this rule goes to court — and it will — the administration will have to justify why it ignored the law and the needs of four million low-income patients,” says Christopherson.  

The NWHN has been active in fighting the rule and helping to build the strongest possible legal case. NWHN staff met with officials from the Office of Management and Budget earlier this month to call out the administration’s failure under the law to evaluate the rule’s real health and economic costs, particularly for women of color.

The National Women’s Health Network is supported by our members and by choice we do not accept financial support from drug companies or medical device manufacturers. We bring the voices, concerns and needs of women consumers to policy and regulatory table.

Sarah Christopherson, MA, is the Legislative Director for the social justice campaign, Americans for Tax Fairness, and the NWHN’s former Policy Advocacy Director. Her 10 years working for Congress and her deep knowledge of health policy and consumer protection make her the NWHN’s issue area expert on federal health reform implementation and defense, drug and device safety and efficacy, and sexual and reproductive health.

Read more from Sarah Christopherson.