By Miriam Raftery
July 21, 2022 (Washington D.C.) – After the Supreme Court ruled that states can ban or restrict abortion access, overturning Roe v. Wade, the Biden administration has taken several actions to protect abortion access in certain circumstances. Specifically:
- The administration cited a law on the books since 1986, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), which requires abortions be allowed in all states if a woman’s life or health is at stake; hospitals that refuse can lose Medicare and Medicaid funding.
- The Health and Human Services (HHS) Department warns that pharmacists must dispense medications used for miscarriages and early-term abortions, or face potential criminal penalties. Attorney General Merrick Garland similarly issued a statement that states cannot ban mifepristone, a drug approved by the FDA for early pregnancy termination among other uses.
- HHS launched a website to help people nationwide find reproductive care and understand their rights at https://reproductiverights.gov/
- President Joe Biden signed an executive order to protect patient privacy and access to emergency contraception and medication abortions.
- HHS has advised pharmacies not to discriminate based on types of contraception sold, if any birth control items are sold in their retail stores.