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Biden Admin Revokes Ban on Abortion Referrals from Federally Funded Clinics

Pro-choice activists at a “Stop Abortion Bans Day of Action” rally hosted by the Tennessee chapter of Planned Parenthood in Memphis, Tenn., May 21, 2019. (Karen Pulfer Focht/Reuters)

The Biden administration has revoked a rule that barred health-care clinics that receive federal funding from providing referrals for abortions.

The Trump administration had previously barred federally funded clinics that provide family-planning services under the Title X program from issuing abortion referrals. The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday that it is reversing the Trump administration’s rule.

“This rule is a step forward for family planning care as it aims to strengthen and restore our nation’s Title X program,” HHS secretary Xavier Becerra said in a press release. “Our nation’s family planning clinics play a critical role in delivering health care, and today more than ever, we are making clear that access to quality family planning care includes accurate information and referrals—based on a patient’s needs and direction.”

The new rule will go into effect on November 8, according to the release.

The Title X program was formed in 1970, and provides funds to clinics that offer birth-control and other family-planning services. The program was designed to prohibit direct federal funding of abortions.

The Trump administration prohibited Title X recipients from referring patients to other clinics to receive abortions. As a result, abortion provider Planned Parenthood withdrew from Title X, choosing not to accept federal funds rather than comply with the Trump administration’s rule.

President Biden ordered a review of that policy in January 2021, one week after assuming office.

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