Interested Parties Memo: Biden’s First 100 Days for Sexual and Reproductive Health Care and Rights
For Immediate Release: April 23, 2021
Today, as the Biden-Harris administration nears 100 days in office, there are increasing signs that the country is on the right track. Yet for many communities, particularly people of color, those with low incomes, and the LGBTQ+ community, access to health care, sexual and reproductive care, and other basic human rights remain out of reach. That’s why the Biden-Harris administration must continue to enact a proactive, bold agenda that will improve the health and lives of all people and create a world where reproductive freedom is a reality for all.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“Planned Parenthood and our supporters have been paying close attention to the Biden-Harris administration’s actions in its first 100 days, and we’re encouraged by what we’ve seen so far. The administration’s steps to undo the harm of the past four years and support sexual and reproductive health care are a promising start — but the work has only just begun. Planned Parenthood is ready to work with both the administration and Congress, and push for bolder policies every step of the way.”
Here are some of the most important accomplishments for sexual and reproductive health care in the Biden-Harris administration’s first 100 days:
Moving to end the Title X Gag Rule: The Department of Health and Human Services proposed regulations to end the Title X gag rule. Former President Trump’s gag rule has undermined the Title X program, which provides sexual and reproductive health care — such as birth control, STI testing, and cancer screenings — to people with low incomes, and the program disproportionately serves Black, Latino, and Indigenous patients.
Read more: AP: Biden begins to undo Trump-era ban on abortion referrals
Passing the American Rescue Plan Act: In a global pandemic, where access to health care is more critical than ever, the American Rescue Plan Act met the moment and delivered much needed health and economic relief to the people who needed it most. Access to sexual and reproductive health care is inextricably tied to health and safety during the pandemic and the American Rescue Plan recognizes that.
Read more: Ms. Magazine: The American Rescue Plan Act Reveals the Importance of Investing in Reproductive Health Care
Lifting Unecessary Regulations on Medication Abortion: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) suspended in-person dispensing requirements for mifepristone, a medication that’s used for abortion and other purposes. This is a critical first step to ending the harmful, medically unnecessary barriers that the FDA’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) restrictions on mifepristone put on people of color, people in rural areas, and people with low incomes.
Read more: POPSUGAR: FDA Will Allow Abortion Pills by Mail During the Pandemic — But What Is a Medication Abortion?
Increasing Global Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care: Just nine days into his presidency, Biden took executive action to rescind the neocolonialist global gag rule, disavowed the Trump administration’s anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ+ Geneva Consensus Declaration, and restored funding to UNFPA for their critical reproductive and maternal health work around the world, later declaring that the policy of the U.S. is to support sexual and reproductive health and rights in the U.S. and around the world.
Read more: CQ Roll Call: Biden to change health coverage, women’s health funding policies
Prioritizing Black Maternal Health Care: During Black Maternal Health Week 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a new investment in maternal and obstetrics care in rural communities, noting that “improving maternal health outcomes — particularly among Black women — is priority for the Biden administration and for the Department.”
Read more: theGrio: Black maternal health disparity gets new focus after Biden proclamation
Appointing Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Champions: Personnel is policy, and since the early days of the transition, the administration has nominated and the Senate has confirmed champions for sexual and reproductive health care to high-level positions throughout the administration. These include HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, Rachel Levine as assistant secretary for health at HHS, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. The administration also established a Gender Policy Council.
Looking Ahead: The fight to protect and expand health care for millions of Planned Parenthood supporters, patients, and global partners cannot let up for even a moment. In the upcoming weeks, we are looking for the Biden-Harris administration to continue its commitment to:
Issue a budget proposal that eliminates the Hyde and Helms amendments and related restrictions on abortion, and increases funding for sexual and reproductive health care programs at home and abroad.
Work to modernize and improve the Title X program.
Immediately end policies that target immigrant communities, their health care, and families.
Permanently eliminate in-person dispensing requirements for mifepristone even after the pandemic.
Continue to strengthen Medicaid and efforts to ensure that Medicaid patients are able to access services at Planned Parenthood health centers across the country.
For more info on Biden’s first 100 days, potential next steps to advance sexual and reproductive health care, or to speak to a spokesperson for a story, please reach out to [email protected].
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.