Washington, Oct 4 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden reversed Monday a ruling of his predecessor Donald Trump, which prohibited the allocation of public funds to family planning clinics that diverted abortion procedures to other specialists.
The Health Department reported in a statement that it issued a final rule that would take effect on Nov. 8 and intends to strengthen the program known as “Title X,” which allocates federal funding for family planning and preventive health services.
This program does not allow paying with public funds for procedures to end pregnancy, but the measure approved by the previous government even prevented centers financed with these resources from referring patients to other places to have an abortion.
The new measure comes when the discussion about abortion lives a new chapter in the country after the approval of a Texas law prohibiting them after six weeks of gestation, when many women do not even know they are pregnant. The Supreme Court will hold a hearing on this matter on Dec. 1.
The Health Department said the new regulation reverses “the changes of the Trump Administration (2017-2021) to the program.”
It will also restore services such as telemedicine and the “urgent need for family planning services,” in light of events such as the law passed in Texas.
Before the Trump rule came into effect in 2019, “Title X” had an annual budget of $ 260 million a year and served 4 million patients at 4,000 clinics across the US.
But between 2018 and 2020, the number of patients served with those grants dropped by 2 million, HHS noted, citing the Annual Family Planning Report, which noted a “significant decrease in the clients served in 2020” under this program, attributed to Trump’s measures.
As a result of those 2019 regulations, six states do not have publicly funded family planning services and another seven have “limited capacity.”
Health Secretary Xavier Becerra said in the statement that the new rule “aims to strengthen and restore Title X”.
“Today more than ever, we are making it clear that access to quality family planning care includes accurate information and referrals, based on the needs and guidance of the patient,” he said.
The Biden rule, which will take effect 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register (official gazette), was proposed in the spring and received more than 180,000 comments over a period of one month. EFE