The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today issued a final rule to clarify the regulations for family planning services under Title X of the Public Health Service Act and protect access to family planning services. Title X is the only federal program focused solely on providing family planning and related preventive services.

“This rule will strengthen access to essential services like cancer screenings and contraception for some of the most vulnerable patients in this country,” said Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Chief Medical Officer, Karen A. Scott, MD, MPH. “Public comments showed overwhelming support for finalizing the rule, which clarifies that all organizations able to provide these services should be eligible to compete for funds.”

Enacted in 1970 as part of the Public Health Service Act, the Title X Family Planning Program is a critical part of America’s public health safety net. For more than 40 years, Title X Family Planning Clinics have provided high quality, affordable, and cost-effective family planning and related preventive health services for women and men, with priority given to low-income patients. In 2015, through 91 grantees, a network of nearly 4,000 community-based clinics provided services to more than 4 million people each year.