According to a Jan. 19 press release, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report entitled, “Marking the 50th Anniversary of Roe: Biden-Harris Administration Efforts to Protect Reproductive Health Care.” The report highlights the actions HHS has taken since the Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade. January 22 marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
The press release states that “Since Dobbs, HHS has worked to protect and expand access to reproductive care amidst unprecedented efforts by Republican officials at the national and state level to restrict access to abortion and contraception. They have taken action using the tools available to them under the Department’s jurisdiction in light of the Dobbs decision. HHS actions have been centered on six core priorities:
1. Protecting Access to Abortion Services
2. Safeguarding Access to Birth Control
3. Protecting Patient Privacy
4. Promoting Access to Accurate Information
5. Ensuring Non-discrimination in Healthcare Delivery
6. Evidence-Based Decision Making at FDA”
Key actions HHS has taken include reaffirming the Department’s commitment to protecting the right to abortion care in emergency settings under EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act); issuing guidance to ensure protections for birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act are clear; and protecting medical privacy by advising patients on how to protect their medical information on smartphones and apps.
“This week, Secretary Becerra will meet with advocates and providers in Wisconsin, a state where abortion care is no longer being provided, and Minnesota, a state where abortion remains legal and legislators recently introduced a bill to codify the right to abortion into state law,” the release adds. “During these visits, he will reiterate the Biden-Harris Administration’s steadfast commitment to protecting access to reproductive health care, including abortion and contraception.”
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra was quoted in the release saying that “On the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, abortion, contraception, and other forms of reproductive healthcare are under attack in our nation like never before because the Supreme Court undermined nearly half a century of precedent protecting women’s access to this critical care. As a result, our daughters have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers, and women seeking care are being put in dangerous situations with heartbreaking results.”