Title X ‘Gag Rule’ Lifted
October 4, 2021
Refocus on Accessibility, Equity & Client-Centered Care
Newsletter from the CEO…
Dear Friends of KBFPC,
As you know, our organization is currently the only Title X funded organization in Alaska. This federal funding supports clinics like ours that provide all people access to reproductive healthcare regardless of ability to pay. In 2019, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released what has become known as the ‘Gag Rule’ which severely restricted how healthcare providers could support clients making family planning decisions, particularly in regards to nondirective options counseling and abortion. That rule prevented clinics and healthcare centers like KBFPC from providing clients with the complete and equitable access to information they need to make decisions about their reproductive health.
Today HHS released its final 2021 Title X rule which rescinds the ‘Gag Rule’ and its restrictions on care. The focus of Title X returns to ensuring “access to equitable, affordable, client-centered, quality family planning services for clients, especially low-income clients.” (DHHS, 2021) The final rule takes effect on November 8, 2021 and will not only rescind the 2019 rule, but help improve quality of care around the country by:
- allowing providers to give pregnant patients complete, unbiased information and refer them for the services they choose
- addressing the importance of telehealth services
- using inclusive language to reflect the clients we serve
- emphasizing the critical role of nurse practitioners and physician assistants in clinics like KBFPC, and
- protecting adolescent confidentiality.
The KBFPC staff and board of directors are thrilled to celebrate this moment with you. Thank you for your continued support of our mission, especially as we expand the clinic hours and staff to meet the needs of the Southern Kenai Peninsula communities. If you would like to learn more about the clinic expansion or make a donation, please visit our website.
Claudia Haines, CEO