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A Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration on Monday revoked a Trump-era rule that bars clinics that receive federal family planning funding from referring patients for abortions.

Why it matters: The new rule, which will go into effect on Nov. 8, comes as the fight for abortion access ramps up in states and nationally.

Context: Former President Trump issued the rule in 2018 in an appeal to his anti-abortion base.

  • Over 20 states filed federal lawsuits in attempts to block the provision, but a California appeals court ruled in 2019 that Trump officials could enforce the rule while the litigation played out, the Washington Post reports.
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit sided with the Trump administration in February 2020.

The big picture: The Biden revision will allow health clinics to receive the Title X federal family planning funds, which primarily serve low-income individuals, even if they make abortion referrals.

  • About one in four health centers supported by Title X money dropped out of the program in 2019, cutting the network’s capacity to provide contraceptive services by 46% — 1.6 million fewer patients, according to reproductive rights research and policy organization Guttmacher Institute.

What they're saying: "The end of the Title X gag rule is a major victory," said Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, in a statement.

  • "Title X is a critical piece of our social safety net that can, and should, ensure that people with low incomes can access essential health care without forcing providers to withhold referrals for all of the options available to them," Johnson added, noting that Title X disproportionately serves Black and Latino patients as well as people living in rural communities.
  • "Given the attacks on abortion in Texas and across the country, it’s more important than ever that patients can access their choice of birth control and other health care through Title X — and that it is easily available."

Editor's note: This post was updated to include comments from the CEO of Planned Parenthood.

Go deeper

Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocks abortion restrictions

A pro-choice activist demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked three abortion restrictions set to take effect on Nov. 1.

Why it matters: The laws would place new limits on medication-induced abortions and require doctors who perform abortions to attain board certification in obstetrics and gynecology.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Health

Public health messaging lessons for the next pandemic

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

"Be first, be right, be credible" is the mantra of public health experts in a crisis. It's difficult to argue that the health community has regularly managed to be any of those three during COVID-19.

Why it matters: A pandemic isn't just a medical emergency — it's also a communications emergency. The U.S. public health establishment, hamstrung by bad data and political interference, has struggled with the latter.

How Hertz is fighting to stay relevant

A Hertz car rental counter in the Miami International Airport. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

In the span of less than a week, Hertz has made three big strategic moves intended to keep the car rental giant from fading into oblivion.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing and other mobility innovations are rapidly changing the way people get from A to B, posing an existential threat to traditional car rental services.