SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta and New York Attorney General Letitia James, leading a coalition of 23 state attorneys general, submitted a comment letter today to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) applauding the agency for its Proposed Rule to undo the Trump-Pence Administration’s harmful 2019 Title X Rule. The Proposed Rule will rectify many of the harms the 2019 Rule caused women, those who live in rural areas, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community.
“Since the 2019 Title X Rule went into effect, individuals and families in underserved communities across the country have unfortunately had to bear the brunt of reduced access to critical healthcare services during a global pandemic,” said Attorney General Bonta. “As the People’s Attorney, it is my duty to safeguard Californians’ health and safety, which is why I fully support HHS’s efforts to quickly undo the 2019 Rule, and increase access to equitable, affordable, and accessible healthcare.”
The Title X program funds not only family planning counseling and access to various contraceptive methods, but also critical screenings for high blood pressure, anemia, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, as well as cervical and breast cancer. The 2019 Rule led to a dramatic loss of Title X providers nationwide. Due to this loss of providers, the number of clients served by the program dropped by 60 percent from 2018 to 2020. As a result, low-income, uninsured, and racial and ethnic minorities’ access to Title X family planning services has decreased.
HHS’s Proposed Rule would put the Title X program back on track to providing underserved communities with quality and accessible medical care. For example, the Proposed Rule would allow Title X clinics to:
In today’s letter, the attorneys general support HHS’s decision to readopt the original Title X regulations that took effect in 2000, and proposed revisions that would ensure access to equitable, affordable, client-centered, family planning services; including the those that advance health equity and reduce barriers to care and health disparities among underserved communities.
Attorney General Bonta joins the attorneys general of New York, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia in sending the letter.
A copy of the comment letter is available here.