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Update on Medication Abortion

On June 13, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision holding that the plaintiffs in FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine lacked standing to challenge FDA’s actions. Mifepristone—which FDA approved as safe and effective more than 20 years ago—remains available under the conditions of use approved by FDA.

The Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to protecting reproductive rights, ensuring women can make their own decisions about their own bodies, and preserving the FDA’s authority to make science-based determinations about what medications are safe and effective. Read statements from President Joe Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

Know Your Rights: Reproductive Health Care

Reproductive health care, including access to birth control and safe and legal abortion care, is an essential part of your health and well-being. While Roe v. Wade was overturned, abortion remains legal in many states, and other reproductive health care services remain protected by law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is committed to providing you with accurate and up-to-date information about access to and coverage of reproductive health care and resources. Our goal is to make sure you have appropriate information and support.

Your Reproductive Rights

Below you will find information on your right to access reproductive health care, what your health insurance is required to cover, and where to go if you need health insurance.

Whether you get coverage through your employer, Medicaid,, or elsewhere in the private insurance market, most plans cover family planning counseling, birth control, and other preventive services at no additional cost to you. Federal law allows federally-funded health coverage (like Medicaid) to cover abortion in some situations, and some private health insurance plans also cover abortion care.

Your Right to Emergency Care

In light of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, it's more important than ever that you know your rights on receiving emergency medical care.

  • The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requires Medicare-participating hospital emergency departments to offer any person who requests it an appropriate medical screening examination within the capability of the hospital’s emergency department.
  • If the hospital determines that you have an emergency medical condition, federal law requires the hospital to offer you treatment until your emergency medical condition is stabilized, or an appropriate transfer to another hospital if you need it.
  • An emergency medical condition includes any medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms and that, in the absence of immediate medical attention, could reasonably be expected to place the person’s health in serious jeopardy. Emergency medical conditions involving pregnant patients may include, but are not limited to, ectopic pregnancy, complications of a pregnancy loss, or emergent hypertensive disorders, such as preeclampsia with severe features. In some instances, the treatment reasonably necessary to stabilize a pregnant woman’s emergency medical condition may be an abortion.
  • These federal rights preempt any directly conflicting state laws or mandates that apply to specific procedures.1
  • To learn more click here.

1 Please note: pursuant to the injunction in Texas v. Becerra, No. 5:22-CV-185-H (N.D. Tex.), HHS may not enforce the following interpretations contained in the July 11, 2022, CMS guidance (and the corresponding letter sent the same day by HHS Secretary Becerra): (1) the Guidance and Letter’s interpretation that Texas abortion laws are preempted by EMTALA; and (2) the Guidance and Letter’s interpretation of EMTALA — both as to when an abortion is required and EMTALA’s effect on state laws governing abortion — within the State of Texas or against the members of the American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) and the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA).

Your Right to Birth Control Coverage

The Affordable Care Act requires most employer-based health plans and private health insurance plans to cover family planning counseling and to cover certain birth control methods with no out-of-pocket costs to you if you have a prescription. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Hormonal methods, like birth control pills and vaginal rings
  • Implanted devices, like intrauterine devices (IUDs)
  • Emergency contraception, like Plan B® and ella®
  • Barrier methods, like diaphragms and sponges
  • Patient education and counseling
  • Sterilization procedures
  • And additional forms of contraceptives approved, granted, or cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

To learn more about birth control coverage requirements for different types of health coverage, visit here. To learn more about birth control methods, visit here.

Some birth control methods are available over-the-counter and without a prescription including:

  • Emergency contraception, like Plan B®
  • Condoms
  • Birth control pills, like Opill®

Your Right to Access Medication

The law prohibits pharmacies that receive federal financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability in their health programs and activities. While pharmacies regularly dispense medications; make determinations regarding the suitability of a prescribed medication for a patient; and advise patients about medications and how to take them, pharmacies that receive federal financial assistance may not discriminate against pharmacy customers on the bases prohibited by statute when they do so. Read the guidance for the nation's retail pharmacies here.

HHS is committed to ensuring that people are able to access health care free from discrimination. If you believe that you or another person’s civil rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with HHS here

Your Right to Access Abortion

As a result of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, access to abortion will depend on the state you live in even more than before.

Mifepristone, in a regimen with misoprostol, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2000 for the termination of early pregnancy, and is safe and effective when used as directed. Mifepristone for medication abortion currently is available for dispensing by mail by certified prescribers or by certified pharmacies for prescriptions issued by certified prescribers, in addition to in-person dispensing in clinics, medical offices, and hospitals.

If you are covered through Medicaid:

  • While federal Medicaid funds can only cover abortion in the circumstances of rape, incest or if the patient’s life is in danger, there are over a dozen states that provide more comprehensive coverage for abortion using state Medicaid funds. To find out more on state funding of abortions under Medicaid visit this website

If you are covered through your employer, a plan offered through the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces, or elsewhere in the private market:

  • Coverage will vary by state, employer, and insurance company. In some states, private health insurance plans (including employer coverage) are required or allowed to cover abortion in either all or certain circumstances. Review your plan benefits document to find out whether your plan covers abortion. If you are using a plan where you are not the primary policy holder (for example if you are on a parent’s or spouse’s plan), be mindful that the policy holder may receive documentation from the plan known as an “Explanation of Benefits” that includes information about your care.

If you need help paying for an abortion, abortion funds may be able to provide financial assistance. Information about abortion funds and resources to help are available at

If you need information on your state’s laws or legal help, you may consider this website:

Your Right to Coverage of Other Preventive Health Services

Most employer health plans and health insurance plans must cover certain other preventive health services with no out-of-pocket costs because of the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, they are required to cover women’s preventive health services, including:

  • An annual well-woman visit to screen your health (which may be completed at a single visit or part of a series of visits over time) including a pap smear, breast exam and regular checkup
  • Certain counseling and screening services
  • Breast and cervical cancer screenings
  • Prenatal care, which is care you would receive while pregnant
  • Breastfeeding services and supplies
  • Interpersonal violence screening and counseling (e.g., sexual assault evidence collection exams)
  • HIV screening and sexually transmitted infection (STI) counseling

If You Do Not Have Health Insurance Coverage

Civil Rights Complaints

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in health programs receiving federal financial assistance. If you believe that your or another person’s civil rights or health information privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with HHS here.

Patient Privacy

Federal law prohibits health care providers, health insurance plans, and other entities subject to the HIPAA Privacy Rule from using or sharing your health information to investigate or impose liability on yourself or any person for the mere act of seeking, obtaining, providing, or facilitating lawful reproductive health care.2 To learn more click here.

Understand your rights to protect your private medical information under federal law. If you think your privacy has been violated, click here to learn how to file a complaint.

Guidance on Protecting the Privacy and Security of Your Health Information When Using Your Personal Cell Phone or Tablet may be found here.

Guidance on the HIPAA Privacy Rule and Disclosures of Information Relating to Reproductive Health Care may be found here.

Guidance on the Use of Online Tracking Technologies by HIPAA Covered Entities and Business Associates may be found here.

Department of Justice Resources

The U.S. Department of Justice is also working to protect access to reproductive health services under federal law. Visit the Justice Department's Reproductive Rights Task Force website for more information.

2 This prohibition goes into effect on June 25, 2024, and can be enforced beginning on December 23, 2024.