HHS Provides Guidance on Reproductive Rights in Post-Roe World

A recent ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court changes federal protections for reproductive healthcare services to a decision made at the state level. To help patients and providers better understand quickly changing policies, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a new site explaining access to care for those with and without insurance coverage. The section related to lack of health insurance links to HRSA’s Find a Health Center tool. The Biden administration also moved to assure women that sensitive information—including medical records related to abortion and data collected by health and period tracking apps—could be shielded from law enforcement after the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion. HHS issued new guidance last week telling healthcare providers they are not required to—and often legally prohibited from—disclosing private healthcare information related to abortion and other sexual and reproductive health care. For instance, the guidance document says, a hospital employee who suspected a patient of having an abortion in a state where it is illegal couldn’t report that to law-enforcement personnel unless state law specifically required such reporting.