Statement From The National Campaign On HHS Rules Strengthening The Title X Family Planning Program

Dec 15 2016

(Washington, DC)—The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy commends the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the final rule it issued yesterday clarifying and strengthening regulations for the Title X Family Planning Program.  Title X provides more than 4 million low-income women and men with needed contraceptive services each year. 

The new rule, which goes into effect on January 18, 2017, clarifies that no recipient of Title X funding making sub-grants can prohibit participation based on anything other than ability to provide said services.  In publishing the final rule, HHS also noted that, of the more than 145,000 comments it received, the overwhelming majority (91%) were supportive.

“We hope that the new rule will help to ensure that all women who access contraceptive methods at Title X clinics will continue to receive the contraceptive method of their choice,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of The National Campaign.  “Birth control enjoys broad bipartisan support.  It is not controversial, yet not everyone has access to it.  And the need for publicly funded contraception is already far greater than the supply.  This is why Title X funding needs to be increased so that low-income young women can receive the information and contraceptive services they rely on.  Excluding high quality providers from Title X only increases that need.”   

Recent research conducted by The National Campaign shows that nearly 20 million American women live in contraceptive deserts—defined by their lack of reasonable access to public health care sites offering the full range of contraceptive methods.  This is despite the fact that 81% of adults (including 70% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats) agree that birth control is a basic part of women’s health care, according to a survey commissioned by The National Campaign.

“We must continue to strengthen Title X and provide robust funding for the program,” Ehrlich continued.  “We urge Congress and the incoming Administration to continue the historically bipartisan support for this program and to invest in growing access to the full range of contraceptive methods for all women.” 

About The National Campaign: The National Campaign is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families by preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy.