Submit a Comment By July 31st To Protect Title X!
Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an official notice of proposed rulemaking to change the regulations governing the Title X Family Planning Program. The proposed changes released last month include dangerous requirements and restrictions that could have a long-term impact on many people and families in Pennsylvania who access critical health services through the program. The Title X program, established in 1970, provides high-quality, confidential family planning and other preventive health care services to low-income individuals nationwide. As a Title X grantee, AccessMatters manages a network of family planning providers serving over 102,000 people annually with basic health services.
Access to unbiased sexual health information and medically-appropriate health care services for thousands of Pennsylvanians is at stake, and millions more nationwide. HHS is allowing individuals and entities to submit comments in response to the proposed rulemaking. Before the proposed regulations become final, submitted comments must be reviewed.
What can you do to stop these changes?
Submit a comment to HHS expressing your concerns. You can submit comments until 11:59pm ET on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. We have template comments below for you to use and edit (or submit as is) — just copy and paste them into the HHS comment form found here, make any changes or additions, and hit submit!
Dear HHS Secretary Alex Azar,
I am writing to express extreme opposition to the proposed changes to the Title X Family Planning Program entitled Compliance with Statutory Program Integrity Requirements, released by the Department of Health and Human Services in early June. The proposed rule introduces significant changes to the Title X Program, established in 1970 to provide family planning and other preventive services to low-income people across the country. The program serves over 4 million people nationwide – over 200,000 of them in my state of Pennsylvania -who would otherwise lack access to essential health services. The proposed rule threatens the core mission of the Title X program — to provide comprehensive, unbiased, confidential health information and care.
I strongly believe these proposed regulations should not go into effect because they undermine access to comprehensive health care for Title X patients. They would clearly place burdensome and unnecessary requirements on health care providers. The proposed rule would even restrict Title X providers from sharing accurate and comprehensive information with patients.
Current patients may not be able to continue seeing the healthcare provider they are familiar with given the strict and unnecessary physical separation requirements for those that also happen to provide abortion services using non-Title X funds. It is already clear that Title X funds cannot be used to fund abortion as a method of family planning. These new and unnecessary requirements will likely force providers out, reshaping the network of qualified Title X providers. Moreover, the proposed regulations include changes that could jeopardize patient confidentiality, and would more than likely discourage people from getting the care they need.
Access to family planning and to health care are basic human rights. The Title X Family Planning Program has played a critical role for over 45 years ensuring people have access to basic health care. I urge HHS to discontinue these misguided efforts and withdrawal the proposed rulemaking to change Title X. The health and well-being of our nation is at stake and these changes would have long-lasting, negative impacts on public health.
Submit your comments to the Department of Health and Human Services here.
Thank you for taking action! Please contact Audrey Ann Ross at [email protected] for assistance or with any questions. Note: when you submit comments to HHS, they become part of public record and are made available for public viewing.
1700 Market Street, Suite 1540 Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 985-2600 | [email protected] Formerly Family Planning Council -founded 1972