On August 4th, over 50 state leaders of reproductive rights, health, and justice organizations signed on to a letter that was delivered to the Biden Administration asking that they use more of the tools available to them to protect abortion access in the states. As state leaders we know the work to protect reproductive freedom is in our state and local communities more than ever, and with the people who are on the ground directly responding to this public health crisis. We also know that greater support for abortion access from this Administration is critical. Half of U.S. states are already expected to seriously restrict or ban abortion following the recent Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs, with the possibility of more attacks on reproductive rights to come in the future.
We are greatly appreciative of the actions that have been proposed in recent executive orders to protect access to reproductive health care services. The actions outlined are an important first step to ensure access to care in the midst of this public health emergency.
And still, this unprecedented crisis demands a whole-of-government response; to that end, we are sharing additional steps the Administration must take to ensure access to critical health care in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health decision.
Given that nearly 45% of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned and unintended and that 42% of those end in abortion, it is critical that individuals have the capacity to make their own decisions regarding whether to carry a pregnancy to term. In addition, abortion is an integral, life-saving procedure that may be utilized throughout a pregnancy to save the life of a patient or to support fertility.
The situation on the ground in many states is changing rapidly, creating confusion and impeding access to critical and timely reproductive healthcare … to that end, we urge the Administration to take the following actions:
- Use the bully pulpit to denounce ALL abortion coverage bans
- Convene hospital lawyers to ensure providers are protected when they make decisions to provide care under EMTALA
- Provide vouchers for abortion care, childcare, and travel
- Work with Congress and health insurance companies to provide expanded geographical coverage for individuals in need of abortion care that is only offered in a different state
- Federal protections for interstate mailing of abortion inducing drugs
- Twelve-month contraceptive dispensing and insurance coverage
- Commit to changing filibuster rules in the Senate
- Combat medical misinformation and proliferation of fraudulent and deceptive practices
- End the practice of mandatory drug screening of pregnant people and withhold federal funds from hospitals that require this
- Federal protection of Medicaid coverage for recipients who use Planned Parenthood