National Health Law Program Amicus Brief, Title X Final Rule Challenges

Executive Summary

Court Cases

On March 4, 2019 the Trump Administration announced a new final regulation change to the Title X Family Planning Program. The new rule significantly curtails access to comprehensive family planning services, and disproportionately impacts low-income individuals and people of color.

Title X is an extremely impactful federal program designed to provide affordable birth control and reproductive health care for low-income individuals, and to ensure they can make informed decisions about their reproductive decisions. The new rule effectively bars reproductive health clinics that provide abortion care or provide referrals for such care from participating in Title X. It also makes it significantly easier for Federal funds to be diverted from reproductive health care providers to medically-dubious, anti-abortion, faith-based care providers.

Immediately after the final rule was announced, 21 states filed suit against Alex Azar, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, for the approval of this new rule, citing in their Complaint the “burdensome and unnecessary restrictions” to care that the rule created. The Plaintiffs argue that the rule also “undermine[d] Congress’s intent in enacting Title X of the Public Health Services Act nearly five decades ago.”

Brief of Amici Curiae

This Amicus Brief was filed on July 5, 2019 in three separate states’ cases against Azar by The National Health Law program, along with 31 other organizations that work with low-income and underserved communities. The brief makes two key arguments:

  • Congress Enacted Title X to Ensure High Quality, Accessible, and Affordable Care for Low-Income and Underserved People
  • Title X Programs Currently Operate to Provide Access for Underserved Populations

The amici curiae are organizations that work extensively with and for low-income and underserved populations. Amici are The National Health Law Program, Advocates for Youth, American Medical Student Association, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Community Catalyst, The Endocrine Society, Families USA, HIV Medicine Association, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, Juvenile Law Center, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Council of Jewish Women, NARAL Pro—Choice America, National Abortion Federation, National Immigration Law Center, National Institute for Reproductive Health, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women’s Health Network, National Women’s Law Center, Northwest Health Law Advocates, Positive Women’s Network–USA, Power to Decide, Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Women of Reform Judaism, Men of Reform Judaism, Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, WhitmanWalker Health, WomenHeart, and YWCA USA.

Below, please find the various Amicus Briefs, each with overlapping content.

Amicus Brief in State of California v. Azar et al. 

Amicus Brief in State of Washington v. Azar et al.

Amicus Brief in State of Oregon et al. v. Azar et al. 

Related Content

For almost 50 years, the National Health Law Program has fought to expand access to quality health care to low-income individuals and underserved communities. Today we are pleased to launch a newly designed website for our future work to make health care a reality for all people. Please take time to peruse our new site, and sign up for our email updates to learn about us, watch the work we do, and become engaged.

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