Washington, DC — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed a rule that significantly amends regulations governing the Title X of the Public Health Service Act (Title X), the only federal program exclusively dedicated to providing low-income patients (including adolescents) with access to family planning and preventive health services and information. Federally funded Title X facilities provide access to health and cancer screenings, well woman exams, contraception and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
Organizations representing over 700,000 women’s and adolescents’ health care providers oppose all efforts to limit medically accurate health care information available to patients and to exclude qualified providers from participation in the Title X program. For at least 10 reasons, HHS should rescind the proposed Title X rule:
- The proposed rule threatens women’s lives by restricting access to medically accurate, preventive health care, putting more than 40 percent of Title X patients at risk of losing essential care.
- The proposed rule forces health care providers to omit important and accurate medical information necessary for patients to make timely, fully informed decisions, encroaching upon providers’ codes of ethics and responsibilities to patients.
- The proposed rule allows Title X grantees to exclude certain forms of FDA-approved contraceptives and removes the requirement that contraceptive methods provided by Title X grantees be “medically approved,” restricting access to safe and effective contraception.
- The proposed rule regulates how providers talk to their patients and restricts a provider’s ability to offer the patient his or her best medical judgement.
- The proposed rule exacerbates racial and socioeconomic disparities in access to care by leaving Title X patients, who are disproportionately black and latinx, without alternate sources of care.
- The rule undercuts a woman’s access to safe, legal, abortion by banning providers from referring their patients at any stage of pregnancy for safe, legal abortion.
- The proposed rule undermines the confidentiality protections for adolescents. Without these protections, adolescents, especially those without adult support systems, may be more likely to delay or not receive needed, sometimes lifesaving, care.
- The proposed rule uses medically inaccurate language, placing political ideology over science.
- The proposed rule targets qualified health care providers such as Planned Parenthood, threatening access to lifesaving care for nearly 2 million women.
- The proposed rule would reverse our Nation’s historic achievements in reducing unplanned and teen pregnancy rates, turning back the clock on women’s health.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, ACOG strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. www.acog.org
The American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.
The American College of Nurse-Midwives
The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States. With roots dating to 1929, ACNM sets the standard for excellence in midwifery education and practice in the United States and strengthens the capacity of midwives in developing countries. ACNM’s members are primary care providers for women throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. Visit www.midwife.org to learn more or follow ACNM on Twitter or Facebook.
The American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Founded in 1934, the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to excellence in women’s health. The purpose of the ACOOG is to educate and support osteopathic physicians to improve the quality of life for women by promoting programs that are innovative, visionary, inclusive, and socially relevant. The ACOOG is likewise committed to being the premier leader in the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of women.
The American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 154,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.
The American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association is the oldest medical association in the country founded in 1844. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,800 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine
ASRM is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. The Society accomplishes its mission through the pursuit of excellence in education and research and through advocacy on behalf of patients, physicians, and affiliated health care providers. The Society is committed to facilitating and sponsoring educational activities for the lay public and continuing medical education activities for professionals who are engaged in the practice of and research in reproductive medicine. www.asrm.org
The American Urogynecologic Society
The American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS) is the premier non-profit organization representing professionals dedicated to treating female pelvic floor disorders. Founded in 1979, AUGS represents more than 1,900 members, including practicing physicians, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, nurses and health care professionals, and researchers from many disciplines. For members and constituents, AUGS is the primary source of clinical and scientific information and education in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS).
The Association for Physician Assistants in Obstetrics and Gynecology
The Association for Physician Assistants in Obstetrics and Gynecology (APAOG) is the only professional association devoted exclusively to PAs practicing in women's health. Established in 1991, APAOG is the collective voice for professionals working to improve the health care of women. APAOG is a voluntary, nonprofit organization committed to improving women's health through advocating for patient autonomy through education and collaborative care, promoting clinical and academic excellence for APAOG members, and to assist and support PA's and the healthcare team by delivering the highest quality women's healthcare services. www.apaog.org
The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
The mission of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) is to transform and improve sexual and reproductive care and access through professional training and advocacy. We translate high-quality science into practice and policy through accredited, peer-reviewed programs and policy initiatives, and we bring together professionals across disciplines and specialties for evidence-based training and networking. Learn more at www.arhp.org.
The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Since 1969, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) has been the foremost authority promoting the health of women and newborns and strengthening the nursing profession through the delivery of superior advocacy, research, education, and other professional and clinical resources. AWHONN represents the interests of 350,000 registered nurses working in women's health, obstetric, and neonatal nursing across the United States. Learn more about AWHONN at www.awhonn.org.
The National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health
The National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH) is a nonprofit, professional membership association representing more than 8,000 Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners (WHNPs). Advanced practice registered nurses and other healthcare providers rely on NPWH for resources and education that improve women’s health and wellness through evidence-based practice. NPWH pioneers policies to address gender disparities and forges strategic partnerships that advance health equity and holistic models of care. For more information, visit www.npwh.org
The North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
The North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (NASPAG), founded in 1986, is dedicated to providing multidisciplinary leadership in education, research and gynecologic care to improve the reproductive health of youth. Its focus is to serve and be recognized as the lead provider in PAG education, research and clinical care, conduct and encourage multidisciplinary and inter-professional programs of medical education and research in the field of PAG, and advocate for the reproductive well-being of children and adolescents and the provision of unrestricted, unbiased and evidence based practice of PAG. Its official journal, Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, had its first volume published in 1987 and it continues to cover the spectrum of basic science and clinical research in the subspecialty area, addressing gynecological related problems from birth through early twenties. The Society continues to grow in membership as it serves to inform, educate and advance the quality of care for young gynecological patients both nationally and internationally.
The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) is a non-profit, membership organization based in Washington, DC. With more than 3,500 physicians, scientists and women's health professionals around the world, the Society supports the clinical practice of maternal-fetal medicine by providing education, promoting research and engaging in advocacy to optimize the health of high-risk pregnant women and their babies. SMFM hosts an annual scientific