Secretary Xavier Becerra Statement on 58th Anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut
Nearly one year after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Biden-Harris Administration is firmly committed to protecting access to contraception
Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra released the following statement on the 58th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Griswold v. Connecticut decision, a major decision that was foundational to establishing the constitutional right to contraception.
“On the 58th anniversary of the landmark Griswold decision, the Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Biden-Harris Administration, remains deeply committed to protecting and strengthening women’s access to contraception and family planning services.
“As women’s access to essential health care and their fundamental freedoms are under attack across the nation, we stand firm in our commitment to defending access to health care – including reproductive health care. No one should be denied care because of who they are.”
Previous HHS actions to protect access to birth control and provide evidence-based information include:
- Expanding Access to Birth Control Under the Affordable Care Act: HHS, along with the Departments of Labor and the Treasury, proposed a rule to strengthen access to birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the ACA, most plans are required to offer coverage of birth control with no out-of-pocket cost. To date, millions of women have benefited from this coverage. This rule proposes to expand and strengthen access to this coverage so that all women who need or want birth control are able to obtain it.
- Clarifying Protections for Women with Private Health Insurance: Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most private health plans are required to provide birth control and family planning counseling with no out-of-pocket costs. With the Departments of the Treasury and Labor, HHS convened a meeting with health insurers and employee benefit plans and sent them a letter, calling on the industry to commit to meeting their obligations to cover contraceptive coverage as required under the ACA. Later, in response to this conversation, HHS issued guidance to clarify protections for birth control coverage under the ACA.
- Ensuring Access to Family Planning Services at Health Centers: In December 2022, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) provided updated technical assistance to HRSA-funded community health centers to reiterate the statutory and regulatory requirements for these providers to provide family planning services to their patients. The technical assistance included evidence-based recommendations and resources to support health centers in providing these services.
- Supporting Quality Family Planning Services: HHS has issued awards to support reproductive health services and adolescent health that includes:
- $256 million to 87 grantees to deliver equitable, affordable, client-centered, and high-quality Title X family planning services.
- $6.6 million for organizations in seven states to help meet the need for emergency contraception and other family planning care.
- $16.3 million to 31 grantees to enhance and expand the telehealth infrastructure and capacity of Title X family planning clinics.
- $7.75 million, including nearly $3 million in new funding, to provide training and technical assistance for staff working in the nationwide network of Title X through the Reproductive Health National Training Center and the National Clinical Training Center for Family Planning, recently renamed the Clinical Training Center for Sexual & Reproductive Health.
- $6.2 million in Title X Family Planning Research grants, Research to Practice Center grants, and Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Evaluation and Research grants as part of HHS’ work to protect and expand access to reproductive health care.
- Evidence-Based Decision-making at FDA: In December 2022, in response to a request from the manufacturer of the emergency contraceptive Plan B One Step, the FDA approved changes to the labeling for Plan B One Step to reflect the available data and evidence on how the drug works and to reduce consumer confusion. After careful review, FDA approved the labeling change based on a determination that the current science supports a conclusion that Plan B One Step works by inhibiting or delaying ovulation and the midcycle hormonal changes and that there is no direct effect on fertilization or implantation.