Statement by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on President Biden’s Executive Order to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care
Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra issued the following statement on President Biden’s executive order to protect access to reproductive health care:
“I share President Biden’s unwavering commitment to protecting access to reproductive health care, including abortion care – no matter who you are or where you live. At his direction, HHS initiated concrete action to protect access to these critical health care services, as well as the privacy and legal rights of patients and providers. As President Biden reiterated today, we are working closely with the Attorney General and other federal partners to ensure patients and providers have the information, support, and care they need.”
Last week, following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Secretary Becerra announced HHS’s action plan to protect access to reproductive health care, which includes five priorities:
- increasing access to medication abortion;
- protecting patients and providers from discrimination, and ensuring privacy for patients and providers;
- protecting emergency abortion care;
- ensuring providers have family planning training and resources; and
- strengthening family planning care, including emergency contraception.
Since the plan was announced, HHS has taken the following actions:
- Launched the ReproductiveRights.gov public awareness website, which includes a know-your-rights patient fact sheet;
- Convened a meeting with health insurers, and sent them a letter, calling on the industry to commit to meeting their obligations to provide coverage for contraceptive services at no cost as required by the Affordable Care Act;
- Issued guidance to patients and providers that addresses the extent to which federal law and regulations protect individuals’ private medical information when it comes to seeking abortion and other forms of reproductive health care, as well as when it comes to using health information apps on smartphones; and
- Announced nearly $3 million in new funding to bolster training and technical assistance for the nationwide network of Title X family planning providers.
HHS will take additional actions in the coming days.
HHS is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information about access to and coverage of reproductive health care and resources. The Department’s goal is to make sure patients and providers have appropriate information and support. Visit ReproductiveRights.gov to learn more about the care available to patients, and their right to that care.