Updated on April 15, 2021: 

On April 14, 2021, the Biden-Harris administration released a notice of proposed rulemaking to overhaul restrictive Trump-era regulations, collectively known as the “domestic gag rule,” that have had a devastating impact on the Title X national family planning program. Asserting that the Trump-era regulations “have undermined the public health of the population the program is meant to serve,” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services intends to restore Title X back to its pre-Trump regulatory framework, with “several modifications needed to strengthen the program and ensure access to equitable, affordable, client-centered, quality family planning services for all clients, especially for low-income clients.” The rule is open to comments through May 17, and the Trump-era regulations remain in effect for now. 

Updated on January 28, 2021: 

On January 28, 2021, the Biden-Harris administration took its first step toward rescinding the “domestic gag rule”—the destructive Trump-Pence administration overhaul of regulations governing the Title X national family planning program. President Biden signed a presidential memorandum directing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to review those regulations and consider whether to suspend, revise or rescind them; it may take several months to complete this action and restore funding to family planning clinics that were forced out of the Title X program. 

First published February 27, 2019:

On February 26, the Trump administration posted its final rule imposing sweeping and destructive changes to the Title X national family planning program to the Federal Register, four days after the text was initially released on the Office of Population Affairs’ website. Often referred to as the Title X gag rule, the administration’s changes threaten the integrity of the program, the qualified providers it supports and the well-being of people who rely on Title X–supported care.

Implementation would not begin until 60 days after the rule is officially published in the Federal Register, slated for March 4. However, several lawsuits seeking to halt the rule’s implementation have already been announced.

What is the Title X gag rule?

The Title X gag rule is a blatantly coercive and unethical violation of individuals’ right to high-quality sexual and reproductive health care. Among other threats, the rule would:

Deny patients information on and referral for abortion

Reduce access to high-quality contraceptive care by reshaping the network of providers

Advance the Trump administration’s overarching ideological agenda

What is at stake?

For nearly 50 years, Title X has been the sole federal grant program dedicated to advancing people’s access to comprehensive contraceptive and related services in the United States. Title X–supported providers deliver patient-centered, voluntary, confidential and affordable care to approximately four million people each year—most of whom have incomes at or below the federal poverty level, or face other systemic barriers to care. The Title X gag rule represents an all-out assault on these patients’ right to obtain the reproductive health care they want and need.