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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

GW Faculty and Staff Submit Comments to HHS on Proposed Title X “Gag” Rule

Seventeen members of the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GW Milken Institute SPH) faculty and staff submitted comments on July 26 in response to a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) changing Title X policies.

The GW Milken Institute SPH group said they are “deeply concerned about any proposed changes to Title X policies that could adversely impact health center participation, given Title X’s major role in strengthening and enhancing health centers’ family planning performance.”

Established in 1970 and signed into law by President Richard Nixon, Title X provides affordable birth control and reproductive health care to people with low incomes and others who need health care services. In their comment, faculty and staff contend that health center clinical and patient support staff would be effectively under a gag order and could not properly advise and counsel their patients in accordance with the professional standard of care under the proposed rule.

Physicians would be “barred from identifying specific sources of safe and effective abortions,” and “thoughtfully counseling their patients about which of the various treatment options might best meet their health needs and those of their families,” they write.

“The proposed rules would impose practice restrictions at direct odds with federal requirements applicable to community health centers, thereby fundamentally threatening their continued participation in Title X,” the GW Milken Institute SPH group state in their comment.

The full comment and more information is available at GW Health Policy Matters