by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – As America works out its post-Roe future, the US Department of Health and Human Services has told around 60,000 pharmacies they cannot refuse to give out prescribed medications, even if they fear those medicines could be used to end a pregnancy, Axios reports.
The HHS instruction was given after a number of pharmacies in states which have banned or restricted abortion refused to fill prescriptions for medicines that treat heartburn and cancer, among other conditions, Axios said.
Pharmacies were given the HHS instructions on the legal grounds that no discrimination can be made with regard to a patient’s pregnancy status. The Affordable Care Act provides that entities receiving federal funding cannot exclude people from their “programs and activities” based on their race, nationality, age, sex, and disability, Axios said.
“Under federal civil rights law, pregnancy discrimination includes discrimination based on current pregnancy, past pregnancy, potential or intended pregnancy, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth,” the HHS stated in a press release Wednesday.
In a separate statement, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra added: “We are committed to ensuring that everyone can access health care, free of discrimination. This includes access to prescription medications for reproductive health and other types of care.”
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