Biden Administration Tells Pharmacies They Must Fill Prescriptions For Pills To End Pregnancy
The Biden administration announced Wednesday that pharmacies must continue to fill contraception prescriptions and medication that could induce abortion, or they will be in violation of civil rights laws.
“We are committed to ensuring that everyone can access health care, free of discrimination,” Human and Health Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a Wednesday statement. “This includes access to prescription medications for reproductive health and other types of care.”
The federal law affects the nearly 60,000 pharmacies across the nation that benefit from federal funds.
The announcement comes after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and return the right to individual states to decide on their own abortion laws.
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“Under federal civil rights law, pregnancy discrimination includes discrimination based on current pregnancy, past pregnancy, potential or intended pregnancy, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth,” the White House clarified, citing the Affordable Care Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The guidance provided examples for pharmacies to refer to, including providing a contraceptive for an individual who has been the victim of sexual assault, filling a prescription meant to help one ailment with the side effect of terminating a pregnancy and providing contraceptives like condoms but refusing to provide emergency contraceptives.
Pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens said they have received the new guidance and will take it into consideration as they continue to provide service.
President Joe Biden has been making an effort to provide resources for women in states who have outlawed or heavily restricted abortion. Last Friday, he signed an executive order to increase access to abortion pills, direct health care services on better-ensuring patient privacy when it comes to giving authorities information and forming a group of pro-bono lawyers to assist women and health care providers who are criminally charged with having or helping someone have an abortion.
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