Administration Title X Rule Counters Ethics,
Healthcare Access and National Interests
Despite the emphatic objections from medical providers’ associations nationwide, including the HIV Medicine Association, the administration has chosen to compromise the crucial trust between physicians and patients, further erode access to basic healthcare, endanger women’s health and lives, and override the most fundamental constitutional protections of free speech, with its publication of a rule making radical changes to Title X family planning regulations.
The rule, which will prohibit healthcare providers in the nation’s birth control and reproductive health program from referring a patient for an abortion — even under medical necessity -- violates foundational precepts of the Medical Code of Ethics. In doing so it is a dangerous government intrusion into the provision of health services, and poses a clear threat to low-income women, particularly women of color. The destructive impacts of this rule will be far-reaching. It will restrict the medical information that can be given by any healthcare provider in the Title X program, from community health centers to hospitals. The rule will affect millions of people in this country for whom Title X was designed to ensure access to essential preventive and reproductive health care services.
As an organization of HIV medical providers, the HIV Medicine Association has already warned that the rule will deeply undermine efforts to prevent HIV infections and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Finalized at a time when the administration has recognized that the goal of eliminating HIV incidence in the United States is achievable, and even as the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases is on the rise, this rule is all the more destructive.
In addition, at a time when maximizing the cost-effectiveness of our nation’s health resources is critical, the rule imposes symbolic, but prohibitively expensive requirements that health centers providing abortion services physically divide those services – including through separate entrances and exits, the construction of new health centers, and by adding medical and administrative staff.
HIVMA stands with medical associations across America in condemning this rule and calling on Congress and courts to override it.