Lawsuits challenge government family planning policy shifts to abstinence

Lawsuits challenge government family planning policy shifts to abstinence

The National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) and Planned Parenthood [adovocacy websites] filed lawsuits against the Trump administration on Wednesday over an alleged shift in policy for family planning services toward a focus on abstinence.

The complaints [NFPRHA; Planned Parenthood] state that the new provisions do not contain “recognized clinical guidelines,” and therefore are giving preference to “applicants with little to no experience in providing high-quality family planning.”

Planned Parenthood and NFPRHA reason these changes dismantle experienced Title X [HHS materials] networks by providing higher scores to applicants who only advocate abstinence. They state that the new provisions were adopted without justification and without an opportunity for public comment.

The announcement of the changes [materials] emphasized a need for “natural family planning” to be considered for a grant. It stated:

The applicant [to be considered for a grant must show] … evidence that a broad range of acceptable and effective family planning methods and services (including natural family planning methods, infertility services, and services for adolescents), informational, educational, social, and referral services related to family planning will be provided.

The grant application criteria emphasizes counseling that details the benefits of marriage and “returning to a sexually risk-free status.”