HHS secretary pledges to protect access to reproductive health care

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra speaks about actions the Biden administration plans to take in response to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Tuesday, in Washington.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra speaks about actions the Biden administration plans to take in response to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Tuesday, in Washington. (Patrick Semansky, Associated Press)



Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced multiple steps to protect access to reproductive health care in a news conference on Tuesday.

Becerra said the department would work to increase access to medication abortion across the country, work with the department's Office for Civil Rights to protect patient and provider privacy, examine the department's authority in protecting the clinical judgment of health care providers in treating pregnant patients, work on training clinicians in family planning, and he said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would "take every legally available step" to protect access to family planning care.

"There is no magic bullet, but if there is something we can do we will find it and we will do it at HHS," Becerra said. "Indeed that was the instruction I received from the President of the United States."

This move comes after the Supreme Court released a decision Friday overturning Roe v. Wade.

Becerra called the decision "despicable," and said it "unconscionably put at risk the life and health of millions of our fellow Americans."

"The Supreme Court's decision will result in worsened health outcomes and death for some patients. Working to increase access to this (abortion) drug is a national imperative and in the public interest," Becerra said.

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