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Fact Sheet: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Ensuring Access to Equitable, Affordable, Client-Centered, Quality Family Planning Services

May 18, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed a new rule to revise the Title X family planning program regulations. The comment period for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), entitled “Ensuring access to equitable, affordable, client-centered, quality family planning services” closed on May 17, 2021.  All comments on the proposed rule received by the deadline are under review.  

Office of Population Affairs Statement on Proposed Revision of Title X Regulations

March 18, 2021—On January 28, 2021, President Biden issued a “Memorandum on Protecting Women’s Health at Home and Abroad,” directing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to review the 2019 Title X Final Rule and “consider, as soon as practicable, whether to suspend, revise, or rescind, or publish for notice and comment proposed rules suspending, revising, or rescinding, those regulations, consistent with applicable law, including the Administrative Procedure Act.”1 HHS conducted an extensive review and consideration of the 2019 Title X Final Rule (84 Fed. Reg. 7714) pursuant to this Presidential memorandum.  The memorandum specifically directed HHS to ensure that undue restrictions are not put on the use of federal funds or on women’s access to medical information.

After reviewing the 2019 rule, HHS plans to propose revised regulations substantively similar to those issued in 2000 (65 Fed. Reg. 41270), under which the program operated successfully for years, with a few definitional updates that account for minor operational changes over the past 20 years. HHS is working on promulgating a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), and it expects to have this NPRM published in the Federal Register no later than April 15, 2021.  HHS will review and carefully consider all comments submitted in response to this NPRM and plans to have any Title X Final Rule in place by early fall and effective in time for the Fiscal Year 2022 funding announcement, which is expected to be issued in December 2021.

Memorandum on Protecting Women’s Health at Home and Abroad, The White House (Jan. 28, 2021), available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/28/memorandum-on-protecting-womens-health-at-home-and-abroad/.