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Trump-Pence Administration Gag Rules — Enemies of Public Health at Home and Abroad

Washington Memo Craig Lasher, Senior Fellow

PAI has created a chart to compare the abortion-related restrictions contained in the Trump-Pence administration’s expanded Global Gag Rule with the final Title X domestic family planning rule, published in the Federal Register on March 4, 2019.

The chart is not meant to be an inclusive summary of all of the elements of the final regulations on the Title X family planning program—only those provisions that have a direct counterpart in the Global Gag Rule, referred to by Trump-Pence administration as the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) policy.

For example, no analogue exists in the PLGHA for perhaps the most onerous and destructive set of provisions for Title X domestic family planning program grantees. Specifically, the requirement in the final rule to maintain a “physical and financial separation” between the federally funded family planning project and an organization’s non-federally funded abortion-related activities. Under the final rule, an organization’s compliance with such requirements will be necessary to remain eligible for Title X grants.

Like the standard provisions for the Global Gag Rule, the HHS regulations will take effect over a period of time. Once the final rule is published in the Federal Register, most provisions of the rule will be in effect within 60 days. Other requirements will not be implemented for 120 days, and compliance with the “physical separation” requirement for health care facilities will not occur for one year after publication of the final rule. Litigation may further delay implementation and enforcement of the Title X domestic family planning rule.

The National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association has produced a topline summary of the final rule, and many other useful information resources on the Title X program are available on its website.

PAI offers the chart as our contribution to the public policy debate and to the political, legislative and legal battles that are sure to soon ensue in the hopes of minimizing any confusion between the Global Gag Rule and the Title X domestic family planning rule—given their many similarities but also their many significant differences.

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