Readout of Secretary Becerra's call with Governors in Wake of Supreme Court Decision on Roe
On Monday, June 27, 2022, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Becerra convened a virtual roundtable with Governors to discuss the recent Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization Supreme Court Ruling, reiterate HHS' commitment to reproductive health care access, and listen to any state-specific concerns.
At the top of the call, Secretary Becerra told Governors, "we will go to the outer limits to make sure we provide the care people need." Participants are listed below:
- Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
- Oregon Governor Kate Brown
- Maine Governor Janet Mills
Governor Kate Brown highlighted that Oregon invested 15 million dollars in helping people from out of the state access reproductive health services. She also discussed systemic ideas for improving access to reproductive care, including improving access to culturally and linguistically responsive services, expanding telehealth infrastructure, developing rules related to mailing prescriptions across state lines, and increasing funding for local health centers that often serve as an entry point to care.
Governor Janet Mills noted that the vast majority of individuals in Maine support protecting abortion access. She underscored that Maine has enacted several laws to expand abortion care prior to the Supreme Court ruling, including expanding the scope of practice so qualified non-physicians can assist with abortion care, which will be especially effective in protecting reproductive rights in rural areas.
Governor Whitmer said there is a "lot of confusion and heartbreak" and stressed that she continues to use every tool at her disposal in Michigan to protect reproductive rights for all.
Secretary Becerra urged the Governors to reach out to HHS if they hear from any constituents who are unable to access contraceptive coverage, and he assured the Governors that the Department would "turn over every stone and do what we can legally in every state." The group agreed to work together to maximize resources, issue clear guidance for women and birthing people, and share resources to equip providers across the country.
Visit ReproductiveRights.gov to learn more about your rights and available federal resources.
Joseph R. Biden, Readout of Secretary Becerra's call with Governors in Wake of Supreme Court Decision on Roe Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/356669