Know your rights: Reproductive health care

Reproductive health care, including access to birth control and safe and legal abortion care, is an essential part of your health and well-being. While Rowe v. Wade was repealed, abortions remain legal in many states, and other reproductive health services remain protected by law. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is committed to providing you with accurate and up-to-date information on access to and coverage of reproductive health care and resources. Our goal is to make sure you have the right information and support.

Your reproductive rights:

Below you will find information about your right to access care and how it is covered by your insurance or other health coverage, if you have it, where to go if you do not have coverage and how to get information if you do not know.

Most health coverage – whether you have public (eg Medicaid) or private health coverage (eg coverage through the Affordable Care Act or through your employer) – covers free advice on family planning, birth control and other prevention services for you.

Your right to birth control

Under the Affordable Care Act, most health plans are needed to provide you with birth control consultations and family planning at no cost out of pocket. This includes:

  • Hormonal methods such as birth control pills and vaginal rings
  • Implanted devices, such as IUDs
  • Emergency contraception, such as Plan B® and ella®
  • Barrier methods, such as diaphragms and sponges
  • Patient training and counseling
  • Sterilization procedures

To learn more about birth control coverage requirements for different types of health plans, visit here.


Your right to access abortion services

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Rowe v. Wade, access to abortion will depend on the country in which you live, even more than before.

  • Medical abortion has been approved by the FDA since 2000 as a safe and effective option. Federal regulations allow abortion with drugs to be granted through telehealth and to be sent by mail through certified prescribers and pharmacies, in addition to personal dispensation in clinics, medical offices and hospitals.
  • Under federal law, Medicaid will only cover abortion services in circumstances of rape, incest, or if the patient’s life is in danger.
  • If you need help paying for an abortion, abortion funds may be able to provide financial assistance. Information on abortion funds and relief resources is available at AbortionFinder.org.
  • If you need information about the laws of your country or legal aid, you can consider this website: AbortionFinder.org

Your right to access other preventive health services

Under the law, you have the right to access other preventive health services at no cost to your pocket under most health insurance plans. Most health insurance plans are needed to cover women’s preventive health services, including:

  • Visits of a good woman to check your health at any time, including smear, breast examination and regular examination
  • Consulting and screening services
  • Screening for breast and cervical cancer
  • Prenatal care, which is the care you would receive during pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding services and consumables
  • Verification and counseling of interpersonal violence (eg examinations to gather evidence of sexual violence)
  • HIV screening and STI counseling

If you do not have health insurance


HHS complaints

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OCR) Civil Rights Service enforces federal civil rights laws that prohibit discriminatory restrictions on access to health care. If you believe that your civil rights or the privacy rights of another person have been violated, you can file a complaint with HHS here.

Emergency:

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requires that anyone who comes to the hospital with an emergency medical condition be provided with the emergency care needed to save your life, including abortion care.

Patient privacy:

Understand your rights to protect your personal medical information under federal law. If you believe your privacy has been violated, please visit: How to file a HIPAA complaint to file a complaint.

Visit ReproductiveRights.gov to learn more about your rights and available federal resources.

Get the facts of:

  • Types of birth control and whether it is covered by your insurance
  • Where you can go for access to reproductive and preventive health care
  • Your coverage rights based on your health coverage (eg employer-based Medicaid)
  • Clinics where you can get free or cheap birth control and other reproductive health services.

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