Biden Officials End Ban on Abortion Referrals at Federally Funded Clinics
But Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement Monday that the Trump rule had respected “the plain statutory language of Title X.”
“Democrats push this agenda at their own political peril,” she said.
More than 20 states had filed lawsuits against the Trump administration in hopes of overturning the rule, including California, whose suit was led by Mr. Becerra, the state’s attorney at the time.
In the spring of 2019, the Trump administration announced that it would give millions in Title X funds to an anti-abortion nonprofit organization funded by allies of the Catholic Church, the Obria Group. Critics cast the move as a way to defund medical clinics that provide abortions.
Announcing the policy reversal on Monday, the Biden administration cited last year’s Family Planning Annual Report, which showed a precipitous drop in the number of clients served by the Title X program. The report estimated that roughly two-thirds of the decrease in family planning patients between 2018 and 2020 could be attributed to the Trump rule.
Six states currently have no Title X services, and seven others have “limited Title X capacity,” the health and human services department said.
Dr. Rachel L. Levine, the assistant secretary for health, said the new rule would “allow for the Title X service network to expand in size and capacity to provide quality family planning services to more clients.” Title X grants typically go to clinics run by state and local health departments, as well as to federally qualified health centers, hospital-based sites, and other private nonprofit and community-based health clinics.
Monday’s reversal comes as the debate over abortion rights has flared up again on Capitol Hill, after the Supreme Court allowed a Texas law prohibiting most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy to take effect. With other states seeking to enact similar restrictions, and the court, now dominated by conservatives, preparing to take up a case that could overturn the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, Democrats are making the issue a centerpiece of their campaign strategy for next year’s midterm elections.