The Biden administration on Monday reversed a Trump-era restriction that barred reproductive health clinics from receiving federal funding. 

The new rule will go into effect on Nov. 8 and will allow clinics such as Planned Parenthood to rejoin Title X, which prioritizes the reproductive needs of low-income or uninsured people, as well as testing for sexually transmitted infections, and provides screenings for breast and cervical cancer. The program, which was started in 1970, has been a hot-button issue for both sides of the political aisle. 

“This rule is a step forward for family planning care as it aims to strengthen and restore our nation’s Title X program,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Monday in a statement. “Our nation’s family planning clinics play a critical role in delivering healthcare, and today more than ever, we are making clear that access to quality family planning care includes accurate information and referrals—based on a patient’s needs and direction,” Becerra added.

Critics of the Trump administration’s policy on TItle X called it a “gag rule” that constrained what doctors could discuss with their patients. This resulted in 981 clinics, about 1 in 4 that received Title X money, to drop out in 2019, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research and policy organization.

The number of patients being served by Title X grants fell by 2.4 million people from 2018 to 2020. Trump’s order also prohibited health centers receiving Title X funding from referring pregnant women elsewhere for an abortion. 

Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson says the reversal of the Trump-era policy is “a huge victory for patients and a huge victory for sexual and reproductive healthcare.” She said in an interview that based on conversations with affiliates that withdrew during Trump’s tenure, they have “a strong desire to be back in the program.”

“Title X is a critical piece of our social safety net that can, and should, ensure that people with low incomes can access essential healthcare without forcing providers to withhold referrals for all of the options available to them,” Johnson added.

After announcing the policy reversal, the Biden administration cited last year’s Family Planning Annual Report which estimated roughly two-thirds of the decrease in family planning patients between 2018 and 2020 could be attributed to the Trump rule. According to the Health and Human Services Department, six states have no Title X services, and 7 others have limited Title X capacity.  

According to the department, the new rule would allow for the Title X service network to expand in size and capacity to provide quality family planning services to more clients.

The reversal comes as the Supreme Court is set to hear a case in December regarding a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi after it let a more restrictive six-week abortion ban take effect in Texas by a 5-4 vote.