Statement from Nancy Northup, President & CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“In the two months since Roe was overturned, abortion has become illegal in eleven states, and one in three women have lost access to abortion. We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for acting on key elements of President Biden’s recent Executive Orders in response to this public health crisis. It is heartening to see the actions already taken under Secretary Xavier Becerra’s leadership and encouraging to see that commitment advanced in today’s HHS Action Plan to Protect and Strengthen Reproductive Care.
HHS is allowing states to apply for Medicaid waivers, which will expand abortion access for pregnant people traveling from out-of-state. This is an urgent and important step towards mitigating the abortion access crisis. This week alone, millions more people lost access to abortion when “trigger laws” banning abortion took effect in Idaho, Tennessee, and Texas. Much of the South and Midwest have become abortion deserts. The cost of traveling to obtain care in another state is often prohibitive, especially for people who already face systemic barriers to accessing health care.
We also appreciate the HHS letter reinforcing their recent EMTALA guidance which clarified abortion may be necessary stabilizing care for pregnant patients experiencing medical emergencies. We are in the midst of a public health crisis that is becoming more dire by the day. Evidence is mounting of pregnant patients being turned away despite needing urgent — and in some cases, life-saving — medical care. This letter reaffirms provider obligations to stabilize patients, regardless of the cruel abortion bans that may exist in their state.
We look forward to the administration’s continued work implementing President Biden’s executive orders on abortion access, and urge all federal agencies to use every tool at their disposal to protect access to this essential health care.”