Federal law already required those seeking permanent residency or legal status to prove they wouldn’t be a “public charge.” But the Trump administration rule included a wider range of programs that could disqualify them.
Immigrant rights advocates deemed it a “wealth test,” while public health experts said it would mean poorer health outcomes and rising costs as low-income migrants chose between needed services and their bid to stay in the country legally.
Last month, Biden also ordered a review of Trump's restrictions on family-planning clinics that caused Planned Parenthood to withdraw from the funding program, rather than stop abortion referrals. The group serves 1.6 million low-income women and gave up about $60 million a year in federal funding.
The family-planning restrictions, characterized by opponents as a “gag rule,” are in effect nationwide, except for Maryland. The full 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the rule, in a lawsuit filed by the city of Baltimore. An 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld it.
Under Title X, a 1970 law designed to improve access to family planning services, federal money may not be used in programs “where abortion is a method of family planning.”
Abortion rights supporters and opponents have argued for decades whether counseling a patient about abortion or referring a patient to a different provider for an abortion violates that language.
During Trump's presidency, religious conservatives opposed to abortion scored major victory in their quest to "defund Planned Parenthood” because, among its many services, it is the largest abortion provider in the United States, and they viewed the Title X grants as an indirect subsidy.
Title X patients receive affordable birth control, reproductive care and other care through the program, including breast and cervical cancer screenings and HIV testing.