Know Your Rights: Reproductive Health Care
Reproductive health care, including access to birth control and safe and legal abortion care, is an essential part of your health and well-being. While Roe v. Wade was overturned, abortion remains legal in many states, and other reproductive health care services remain protected by law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is committed to providing you with accurate and up-to-date information about access to and coverage of reproductive health care and resources. Our goal is to make sure you have appropriate information and support.
Your Reproductive Rights:
Below you will find information on your right to access care and have it covered by your insurance or other health care coverage if you have it, where to go if you don’t have coverage, and how to get information if you don’t know.
Most health coverage – whether you have public (e.g., Medicaid) or private health coverage (e.g., coverage through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace or through your employer) – covers family planning counseling, birth control and other preventive services at no cost to you.
Your Right to Birth Control
Under the Affordable Care Act, most health plans are required to provide you with birth control and family planning counseling with no out-of-pocket costs. This includes:
- Hormonal methods, like birth control pills and vaginal rings
- Implanted devices, like intrauterine devices (IUDs)
- Emergency contraception, like Plan B® and ella®
- Barrier methods, like diaphragms and sponges
- Patient education and counseling
- Sterilization procedures
To learn more about birth control coverage requirements for different types of health plans, visit here.
Your Right to Access Abortion Services
Following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, access to abortion will depend on the state you live in even more than before.
- Medication abortion has been approved by the FDA since 2000 as a safe and effective option. Federal regulation permits medication abortion to be dispensed by telehealth and sent by mail via certified prescribers and pharmacies, in addition to in-person dispensing in clinics, medical offices, and hospitals.
- Under federal law, Medicaid will cover abortion services only in the circumstances of rape, incest or if the patient’s life is in danger.
- If you need help paying for an abortion, abortion funds may be able to provide financial assistance. Information about abortion funds and resources to help are available at AbortionFinder.org.
- If you need information on your state’s laws or legal help, you may consider this website: AbortionFinder.org
Your Right to Access Other Preventive Health Services
Under law, you have the right to access other preventive health services with no out of pocket costs under most health insurance plans. Most health insurance plans are required to cover women’s preventive health services, including:
- Well-woman visits to screen your health at any time, including a pap smear, breast exam and regular checkup
- Counseling and screening services
- Breast and cervical cancer screenings
- Prenatal care, which is care you would receive while pregnant
- Breastfeeding services and supplies
- Interpersonal violence screening and counseling (e.g., sexual assault evidence collection exams)
- HIV screening and STI counseling
If You Do Not Have Health Insurance Coverage
- Go to healthcare.gov and see if you qualify for coverage.
- Title X Family Planning Clinics provide a broad range of family planning services and provide preventive health services that benefit reproductive health, such as STI and HIV testing, HIV counseling, and HPV vaccines. Find a Title X Family Planning Clinic near you.
- Health centers are community-based organizations that deliver comprehensive, culturally competent, high-quality primary health care services, regardless of patients’ ability to pay, and charge for services on a sliding fee scale. Find a health center near you.
- The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program helps low-income people with HIV receive medical care, medications, and essential support services to help them stay in care. Find how to get HIV care and services through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program near you.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) enforces federal civil rights laws that prohibit discriminatory restrictions on access to health care. If you believe that your or another person’s civil rights or health information privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with HHS here.
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requires that, for any individual showing up to the hospital with an emergency medical condition, the hospital is required to provide you with the emergency care necessary to save your life, including abortion care.
Understand your rights to protect your private medical information under federal law. If you think your privacy has been violated, please visit: How to File a HIPAA Complaint to file a complaint.
Visit ReproductiveRights.gov to learn more about your rights and available federal resources.
Get the facts on:
- Types of birth control and whether it’s covered by your insurance
- Where you can go to access reproductive and preventive health care
- Your rights to coverage based on your health coverage (e.g., Medicaid, employer-based)
- Clinics where you can get free or low-cost birth control and other reproductive health services.
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