HHS Issues New Regulations Regarding Family Planning Funds

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued new regulations concerning family planning funding that will effectively prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving these funds. The Title X program, which provides grants to public and nonprofit organizations for family planning services, has prohibited these grants from going to programs where abortion is a method of family planning since it was first established in 1970.

The new regulations are an attempt to clarify the meaning of this prohibition. Under the proposed regulations, grantees would be unable to counsel women on, or refer them for, abortion. Abortion clinics would also be required to be financially and physically separate from clinics offering family planning services with Title X grants. Currently, facilities performing abortions can receive Title X funding, share staff, facilities, and have common filing systems so long as none of the Title X money is used to pay for abortions.

The proposed regulations will now be vetted through a comment period before they go into effect. It is anticipated that legal challenges from abortion groups will be filed.