Implementing Order on Securing Access to Reproductive and Other Healthcare Services

By the authority conferred on me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. On July 8, 2022, following a decision of the Supreme Court to revoke Roe against Wade, 410 US 113 (1973), I signed Executive Order 14076 (Protecting Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services). As that order recognized, eliminating right recognized in Roe has had and will continue to have devastating consequences for women’s health and public health more broadly.

In response to that order, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has taken critical steps to address those impacts. These steps include clarifying the obligation of hospitals and health care providers under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, 42 USC 1395dd, to provide emergency medical care to patients presenting in an emergency department, including an abortion, if that care necessary to stabilize their medical emergency and provide guidance to the nation’s pharmacies on their obligations under federal civil rights laws – including section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 USC 794, and section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, 42 USC 18116 – to ensure equal access to comprehensive reproductive and other health services, including for women experiencing miscarriage.

However, the continued advancement of restrictive abortion laws in states across the country has created legal uncertainty and disparate access to reproductive health care depending on where a person lives, endangering patients, health care providers and third parties and fueling confusion for hospitals and health care providers. including pharmacies. There have been numerous reports of women being denied health and life-saving emergency care as providers fearful of legal retaliation delay necessary treatment of patients until their condition worsens to a dangerous level. There are also reports of women of reproductive age being denied prescription drugs in pharmacies — including those used to treat stomach ulcers, lupus, arthritis and cancer — because of concerns that these drugs, some of which could be used in drug-induced abortions , can be used to terminate a pregnancy. A healthcare provider reportedly stopped providing emergency contraception temporarily, citing a state law restricting abortion.

As it remains my government’s policy to support women’s access to reproductive health care, including their ability to travel to seek abortion care in states where it is legal, I direct my government to take further steps to improve access to reproductive health care and to address the crisis facing women’s health and public health more broadly.

sec. 2. Definition. The term “reproductive health care” means medical, surgical, counseling or referral services related to the human reproductive system, including services related to pregnancy or termination of pregnancy.

sec. 3. Promoting the ability to obtain reproductive health care. In furtherance of the policies set forth in section 1 of this order, the Secretary of HHS will consider measures to promote access to reproductive health care, including, to the extent permitted by federal law, through Medicaid for patients seeking medical care traveling the state lines.

sec. 4. Promote compliance with anti-discrimination law when obtaining medical care. To promote the policies set forth in section 1 of this order, and to ensure that individuals are not denied necessary health care based on any ground protected by federal law, including current pregnancy, previous pregnancy, potential or intended pregnancy or other medical conditions, the Secretary of HHS will consider all appropriate measures to promote the prompt understanding of and compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws by healthcare providers receiving federal financial assistance. Such actions may include:

(a) providing technical assistance to healthcare providers who have questions about their obligations under federal non-discrimination laws;

(b) convening healthcare providers to provide information regarding their obligations under federal non-discrimination laws and the potential consequences of non-compliance; and

(c) issue additional guidance or take other appropriate action in response to complaints or other reports of non-compliance with federal non-discrimination laws.

sec. 5. Data Collection. The Secretary of HHS evaluates the adequacy of research, data collection, and data analysis and interpretation efforts at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other relevant HHS components in accurately measuring the effect of access to reproductive health care on maternal health outcomes and other health outcomes. After that evaluation, the secretary takes appropriate measures to improve those efforts.

sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed as impairing or otherwise affecting:

(i) the authority conferred by law on an executive department or agency, or its head; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget with respect to budgetary, administrative or legislative proposals.

(b) This order will be executed in accordance with applicable law and subject to the availability of credits.

(c) This Order is not intended to and does not create any right or benefit, material or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its divisions, agencies or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

THE WHITE HOUSE

August 3, 2022.

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