President Biden just struck down one of Donald Trump’s most extremist debacles

About a week after his inauguration, President Biden signed a memorandum that dropped a proverbial boulder on Donald Trump’s misogyny. With the stroke of a pen, Biden reversed Trumpian policies that restricted women’s reproductive rights, immediately restoring some dignity after four dark years. Biden also directed his administration to rethink another anti-abortion rule, an action that “lights the fuse of its imminent and deserved demise,” as I wrote in January.

That anti-abortion rule was Trump’s denial of Title X federal funding to benefit family planning clinics that offer abortion counseling and referrals, and on Monday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the rule’s reversal. “Our nation’s family planning clinics play a critical role in delivering healthcare,” Secretary Xavier Becerra reminded us. “We are making clear that access to quality family planning care includes accurate information and referrals—based on a patient’s needs and direction,” he added.

Title X made more than $250 million available annually for birth control and health services mainly to women who are low-income and often from minority communities. According to HHS, the clinics served about 3.9 million clients before that number dropped nearly 40% in the wake of Trump’s 2019 rule. The rule pushed more than a quarter of the clinics out of the Title X program, which is believed to have led to over 180,000 unintended pregnancies.

The Biden administration’s reversal of Trump’s rule, which takes effect on November 8, lights the way for the return of as many as 1,300 facilities to the program. The largest such entity, Planned Parenthood, tweeted on Tuesday to thank the Biden administration for following through, and that its “health centers look forward to once again providing access to affordable, high-quality sexual & reproductive health care through this program.”

   

President Biden’s action this week makes good on his January memorandum and erases another blot from the large, ugly stain that Trump left on the United States government. Although funding may seem wonkish, Biden’s reversal of Trump’s disastrous rule is an important win with real-life consequences. The restoration of Title X funding means more dignity for women, improved healthcare, and greater empowerment when it comes to family planning. Yes, elections have consequences.

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