The Biden administration is looking to create a national abortion hotline, according to the Government Executive.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a “Notice of Funding Opportunity,” seeking grantees to launch an abortion hotline as part of its Title X program. Called “the Title X Nondirective Options Information, Counseling, and Referrals Hotline,” the hotline will allegedly provide “neutral and factual information,” as well as counseling and referrals on abortion, prenatal care and delivery, infant care, adoption, and foster care.
According to the Government Executive, “Those servicing the hotline will not mention any option about which callers indicate they do not want to receive information.” The outlet also notes, “Only organizations currently receiving grants for Title X family planning services will be eligible to apply. The department estimated it will spend $1.5 million on the hotline.”
Vice President Kamala Harris recently held an Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access meeting, which reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to abortion. “Our administration is fighting on every front to do what we can and what we must to protect the American people and the integrity of our health care system in this country,” she said.
Those sentiments were echoed in a recent press release by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.
Finally, HHS is announcing that it will issue a new Notice of Funding Opportunity to establish a safe and secure national hotline to provide referral services to individuals in need of accurate information about their legal reproductive health care options.
— Secretary Xavier Becerra (@SecBecerra) April 13, 2023
“When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, nearly half a century of precedent changed overnight,” he said. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to protecting women’s lawful access to reproductive health care, including abortion care. President Biden signed not one but two executive orders calling on HHS to take action to meet this moment and we have wasted no time in doing so. Today’s action is yet another important step HHS is taking to protect patients accessing critical care.”
The future grantee will be responsible for creating, operating, and staffing the hotline, as well as maintaining a national referral list for people who call in. Numerous other states, such as Massachusetts and Oregon, have already launched abortion hotlines, giving legal advice and connecting women with abortionists. And while the HHS announcement includes legitimate health care services, like prenatal care, to whom the grant is awarded to will likely determine how heavily the hotline promotes abortion.
Considering the Biden administration’s reproductive rights website offers no help to women who want to parent their children, there is substantial reason for concern that this hotline will simply be another way to promote abortion.