April 16, 2021
Contact: ACNM Membership & Communications
240.485.1813; [email protected]
On April 15th, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released proposed regulations to end the harmful Title X gag rule. Enacted in 2018, this gag rule has forced over 1,000 provider sites out of the Title X program — the nation’s only federal program dedicated to affordable sexual and reproductive health care — and decimated access to affordable birth control, STI testing, cancer screenings, and more. The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) has strongly opposed this gag rule since its inception and supports the HHS’ proposal.
ACNM advocates for policy decisions that strengthen access to and use of sexual and reproductive health care coverage and services provided by midwives. The Title X program is integral to the US health care system, as it offers individuals access to medically accurate counseling on and referral services for all pregnancy options legally available to women and families.
The proposed regulations released today, when finalized, will end the Title X gag rule and make other modifications to strengthen the program and better ensure access to equitable, affordable, client-centered, quality health care services, including midwifery care, for Title X patients. In the coming days, a 30-day comment period will allow the public to underline the harm the gag rule has wrought and emphasize why it must be ended as swiftly as possible. ACNM will be providing regulatory comments in support of the proposal.
“ACNM supports the HHS’ proposal to end the Title X gag rule and restore access to family planning and reproductive health care services in high-need, low-resource communities, particularly to low-income people and people of color,” said ACNM President Cathy Collins-Fulea, DNP, CNM, FACNM. “A fully-funded Title X program is essential to reducing maternal mortality, increasing access to care, and improving overall health outcomes in our country.”
This proposal is a victory for patients across the country who have been denied access to the care they need, but the Biden-Harris administration and Congress have more urgent work to do. They must swiftly end the Title X gag rule and ensure the program is fully funded, modernized, and able to meet people’s needs — during this pandemic and beyond.