Biden orders pharmacies to provide legally prescribed abortion drugs

The rule targets retail pharmacies that have taken federal funds.

Updated: July 14, 2022 - 6:24pm

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U.S. President Biden announced Wednesday that all retail pharmacies must provide patients with drugs that could be used for abortions, as long as they were prescribed legally.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) recommends that around 60,000 retail pharmacies follow Biden's guidance  as pharmacists have been reported turning away women seeking this type of medication.

The combination of mifepristone wand misoprostol is a common way to induce an abortion, yet it also helps those with first-trimester miscarriages. This causes a dilemma between trying to personally enforce abortion policy at pharmacies compared with patients who intend to use the drugs properly. 

“The Department is committed to improving maternal health — including for individuals who experience miscarriages — and vigorous enforcement of our civil-rights laws is one way in which we plan to do so,” the HSS said.

Funding from the Affordable Care Act requires pharmacies to provide care to those who seek it due to the federal money they received. Pharmacies that do not follow the guidance of the HHS could be in violation of the patients' civil rights. 

“HHS is making a very bright line here on federal law,” a senior agency official told reporters. “This is meant to remind folks of their obligation when they take federal funding and to remind folks of obligations under federal civil rights laws," The Hill newspaper reported.

 

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