FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Audrey Ann Ross
Statement from AccessMatters’ President & CEO Melissa Weiler Gerber on President Biden’s Title X Family Planning Program Memorandum
[PHILADELPHIA, PA – January 28, 2021]: Today, President Biden issued a memorandum as a first step toward rescinding the Trump Administration’s 2019 rule that restricted the delivery of services and information provided through the Title X Family Planning Program. Melissa Weiler Gerber, President & CEO of AccessMatters released the following statement in response:
“As the Title X Family Planning Program grantee in Southeastern Pennsylvania and one of the largest grantees in the country, we recognize today’s action as a step toward righting wrongs done to the Title X program during the Trump era. However, this action does not go far enough. Given the Administration’s stated commitments to protecting access to health care and advancing health equity, we expected the Administration to direct the Department of Health and Human Services to cease enforcement of this rule and to expedite the regulatory process required to rescind it. This rule has disrupted the Title X care network in our region and across the nation, limiting access to unbiased, comprehensive reproductive health services for Title X clients, disproportionately impacting low-income and marginalized individuals. Clients who rely on Title X family planning services should not be expected to endure any more delays in the Administration acting to reverse this harmful rule.
Since its inception, the purpose of the Title X Family Planning Program has been to provide unbiased, comprehensive, and confidential family planning services and preventive health services. It has been almost two years since the rulemaking challenged the essence of the program.
While it has been a difficult period for the Title X program, as the regional grantee for the five-county Philadelphia region, we have remained committed to our diverse network of family planning providers and the patients we serve. Our network serves more than 82,000 patients annually with preventive health services, including: annual gynecological exams, chest/breast and cervical cancer screenings, HIV/STD screening and treatment, birth control, and counseling, information, and medical services related to family planning services.
Even as we remain focused on supporting healthcare providers in our network to meet all program requirements and to ensure continued access to care for all who depend upon Title X-funded services, we will continue to advocate for removing the regulatory restrictions on pregnancy options counseling and referrals.
We call upon the Administration to cease enforcement of the current rule, and for the Department of Health and Human Services to take immediate legal action to fully rescind the rule.”
– Melissa Weiler Gerber, President & CEO
AccessMatters’ mission is to protect, expand, and enhance equitable access to sexual and reproductive health care and information for all people. For more information about AccessMatters’ programs, follow @AccessMatters4U on Twitter, and @AccessMatters on Facebook.