AP

Pharmacies can’t discriminate on reproductive health scripts

Jul 13, 2022, 2:17 PM | Updated: 2:49 pm

The Biden administration is warning pharmacies not to discriminate against women who may seek reproductive health prescriptions, including some that might be involved in ending a pregnancy.

The Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that pharmacies receiving federal money from programs such as Medicare and Medicaid cannot discriminate in how they supply medications or advise patients on prescriptions.

The agency noted that discrimination against people based on their pregnancy or related conditions would be a form of sex discrimination.

The announcement comes as the administration seeks to ensure reproductive health services for women following last month’s Supreme Court decision that ended a constitutional right to abortion.

On Monday, the administration told hospitals that they “must” provide abortion services if the life of the mother is at risk. The government said federal law on emergency treatment guidelines preempts state laws in jurisdictions that now ban the procedure without any exceptions. Now, all states provide an exception for the life of the mother.

President Joe Biden also has signed an executive order to try to protect some access to the procedure, but he also has acknowledged that his administration is limited in what it can do. He noted earlier this month that an act of Congress would be required to restore nationwide access to abortion services, and he has urged Americans angered by the Supreme Court’s ruling to vote in November.

Wednesday’s actions, like those outlined Monday, do not reflect new policy. They aim to remind care providers of their existing obligations under federal law.

“We are committed to ensuring that everyone can access health care, free of discrimination,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “This includes access to prescription medications for reproductive health and other types of care.”

The department’s guidance to pharmacies outlined several hypothetical examples of potential discrimination. They include a pharmacy that refuses to fill a prescription of mifepristone followed by misoprostol to help manage complications from a miscarriage after a pregnancy loss.

That combination of drugs also is commonly used in medication abortions.

A pharmacy that refuses to fill a prescription of misoprostol prescribed to help deal with severe stomach ulcer complications may be discriminating based on disability, HHS said. The agency noted that the pharmacy also may be discriminating if it refuses to stock the drug based on its alternate use.

HHS also cited as another example of potential discrimination: a pharmacy that refuses to fill a prescription for methotrexate to halt an ectopic pregnancy, which grows outside the womb and is not viable.

The federal agency said people who believe their rights have been violated should visit an online portal for the Office for Civil Rights to file a complaint.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A newly released report on last year’s fatal crash involving a pickup truck and a group of bicycl...

Associated Press

Report suggests steering of vehicle that caused fatal Goodyear bicycle crash worked fine

A new report on last year’s fatal Goodyear bicycle crash has cast doubts about the driver’s claim the vehicle’s steering locked up.

13 hours ago

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

3 days ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

3 days ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

7 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

8 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Pharmacies can’t discriminate on reproductive health scripts