FACT SHEET: President Biden to Sign Presidential Memorandum on Ensuring Safe Access to Medication Abortion
Vice President Harris Will Announce Presidential Memorandum in Remarks in Florida to Mark 50th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
On what would have been the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, President Biden will issue a Presidential Memorandum on Further Efforts to Protect Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services. Vice President Harris will announce the Presidential Memorandum in Florida later today, where she will speak about the next steps in the fight for reproductive rights and reinforce the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting access to abortion, including medication abortion.
Since the day of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, President Biden has emphasized the need to protect access to mifepristone, a drug used in medication abortion that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for over 20 years and accounts for the majority of all abortions in the United States.
Earlier this month, the FDA took evidence-based action to support safe access to mifepristone by allowing the continued use of telehealth to prescribe the medication and creating a new option for certified pharmacies to dispense it to patients.
Some state officials have taken steps to try to prevent women from legally accessing medication abortion and to discourage pharmacies from becoming certified by the FDA.
Today, President Biden will sign a Presidential Memorandum to further protect access to medication abortion.
In the face of barriers to medication abortion and concerns about the safety of patients, healthcare providers, and pharmacists, today’s Presidential Memorandum announces actions to:
- Protect Legal Access to Medication Abortion. The Presidential Memorandum directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), to consider new guidance to support patients, providers, and pharmacies who wish to legally access, prescribe, or provide mifepristone—no matter where they live.
- Safeguard Patient Safety and Security. To ensure that patients understand their right to access reproductive healthcare despite roadblocks, the Presidential Memorandum directs the Secretary of HHS, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of DHS, to consider new actions to ensure that patients can access legal reproductive care, including medication abortion from a pharmacy, free from threats or violence. The President has long made clear that people should have access to reproductive care free from harassment, threats, or violence. Pharmacies should be treated no differently.
The Attorney General and the Secretaries of HHS and DHS will also provide recommendations to the White House Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access, which was established by President Biden in Executive Order 14076, on additional ways to address barriers faced by patients, providers, and pharmacies in safely and legally accessing or providing medication abortion, consistent with evidence-based requirements set by the FDA.