Know your rights: protection of reproductive health

Reproductive health care, including access to birth control and safe and legal abortion, is an important part of your health and well-being. Although Roe v. Wade was overturned, abortion remains 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 about access to and coverage of reproductive health services. 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 health care and coverage if you have insurance or other health coverage, where to go if you don’t have coverage, and how to get information if you don’t know.

Most health services—whether you have public health insurance (such as Medicaid) or private health insurance (such as coverage through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace or through your employer)—include free family planning counseling, birth control, and other preventive services.

Your right to birth control

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

  • Hormonal methods such as birth control pills and vaginal rings
  • Implanted devices such as intrauterine devices (IUDs)
  • Emergency contraception like Plan B® and ella®
  • Barrier methods such as diaphragms and sponges
  • Patient education and counseling
  • Sterilization procedures

To learn more about fertility insurance requirements for different types of health care plans, visit here.


Your right to access abortion services

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, access to abortion will depend even more on the state you live in than before.

  • Medical abortion has been approved by the FDA since 2000 as a safe and effective option. Federal law allows for telemedicine and mail-order medical abortions through certified prescribers and pharmacies, in addition to in-person dispensing at clinics, medical facilities, and hospitals.
  • Under federal law, Medicaid pays for abortion services only in cases of rape, incest or if the patient’s life is in danger.
  • If you need help paying for an abortion, abortion funds can provide financial assistance. Information about abortion funds and resources to help is available at AbortionFinder.org.
  • If you need information about your state’s laws or legal help, you may want to consider this website: AbortionFinder.org

Your right to access other preventive health care services

By law, you have the right to access other preventive health services at no out-of-pocket cost under most health insurance plans. Most health insurance plans should cover preventive services for women, including:

  • Visiting a well-woman to check your health at any time, including Pap smears, breast exams and regular check-ups
  • Consulting and screening services
  • Breast and cervical cancer screening
  • Antenatal care, which is the care you will receive during pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding services and supplies
  • Screening and counseling for interpersonal violence (eg, sexual assault evidence exams)
  • HIV screening and STI counseling

If you don’t have health insurance


HHS Complaints

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

Emergency aid:

The Emergency Medical Care and Labor Act (EMTALA) requires that for anyone who goes to a hospital with a medical emergency, the hospital has a duty to provide you with the emergency care necessary to save your life, including abortions.

Patient confidentiality:

Understand your rights to protect your private health information under federal law. If you believe that 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.

Learn the facts about:

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

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