Title X Proposed Rule restricts comprehensive counseling/referral - comments due July 31
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The Office of Population Affairs has published proposed rules regarding Title X family planning funding that would place restrictions on how providers counsel and refer women with unplanned pregnancies. Public comments are due by July 31.
Title X is a federal program that provides funding for family planning services, and supports care for 55,000 patients in Washington DC mostly through the Federally Qualified Health Centers. It requires that grant recipients offer a broad range of family planning methods, and requires that no Title X funds be used for abortion services. It was enacted in 1970, and the rules for implementation have been revised several times. Current rules require non-directive options counseling for unplanned pregnancy, i.e. providers counsel regarding parenting, adoption, and abortion, and offer referrals as needed based on the patient's decision. The proposed rule would prohibit counseling regarding abortion, and if a patient specifically states that she wants an abortion, the provider would be limited to offering "a list of licensed, qualified health care professionals in the area (some of whom provide abortion as part of their primary health care services)," leaving it to the patient to figure out which providers offer this service. There are more provisions which put limits on what the provider can discuss with the patient, and to whom providers may refer.
Click the link below to read the detailed proposal and submit comments. Also, see the attached summary and analysis by the National Fa mily Planning and Reproductive Health Association.