U.S. government warns pharmacies to guarantee abortion medication

The U.S. government has issued Wednesday a guide for pharmacies in the country warning them that they must guarantee medication for voluntary termination of pregnancy to all persons with a prescription who request it and regardless of the state in which they are.

Specifically, the U.S. Department of Health has detailed to the country’s approximately 60,000 retail pharmacies their obligations under federal civil rights laws, stressing that, as recipients of federal financial assistance, they are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, national origin, sex, or age, including in the provision of prescription drugs.

Under federal civil rights law, pregnancy discrimination includes discrimination based on current pregnancy, prior pregnancy, potential or intended pregnancy, as well as medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, the Department of Health has detailed in a statement.

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“We are committed to ensuring that everyone can access health care, without discrimination (…) this includes access to prescription drugs for reproductive health and other types of care,” U.S. Health Secretary Xavier Becerra has detailed.

This guidance to pharmacies is part of the Biden Administration’s move to protect women’s reproductive health care after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the legal precedent that allowed abortion in the United States since 1974, Roe v. Wade.

In this regard, the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday announced the formation of a reproductive rights task force to identify ways to protect access to medical care for pregnancy termination.

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This task force will be charged with monitoring and evaluating all state and local laws and enforcement actions that threaten to infringe on legal protections related to seeking reproductive care, impair women’s ability to seek reproductive care in those states where abortion is legal, or impair women’s ability to obtain information and counseling in those states.

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