Fact Sheet

Key Federal Responses to Protect Abortion Access and Promote Reproductive Health Post-Dobbs

Fact SheetReproductive Health and Equity Legislation and Legal ChallengesHealth and Health Care

September 16, 2022
by Jennifer Piatt

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 24, 2022, the federal government has taken specific actions designed to preserve and promote access to abortions and promote reproductive health. This fact sheet examines key responses from the Biden administration that attempt to protect legal abortion access through specific actions by the (1) White House, (2) Department of Health & Human Services (HHS); (3) Department of Justice (DOJ); and (4) other federal entities.

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Post-Dobbs Legal Avenues to Abortion Access

Fact SheetReproductive Health and Equity Legislation and Legal ChallengesHealth and Health Care

September 16, 2022
by Jennifer Piatt

The Supreme Court’s decision on June 24, 2022 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (Dobbs) overturning Roe v. Wade (Roe) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey has resulted in severe limitations to abortion access among select states nationally. In the aftermath of the elimination of the fundamental constitutional right to abortion, identifying legal options to abortion access is critical to ensure the health and safety of individuals across the nation. This fact sheet illustrates select legal avenues to access abortion services in the post-Dobbs United States under core specific categories.

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Abortion Access: A Post-Roe Public Health Emergency

Fact SheetReproductive Health and Equity Maternal and Child HealthPublic Health Emergency: Legal Preparedness & ResponseLegislation and Legal ChallengesHealth and Health Care

September 9, 2022
by Jennifer Piatt

On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (Dobbs) that the fully overturned Roe v. Wade (Roe) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (Casey), cases which upheld constitutional rights to abortion. In the aftermath, legal authorities to regulate and even ban abortion have shifted back largely to state (or local) governments. Profound national reactions and public health repercussions may necessitate extraordinary responses, including the potential use of federal emergency response powers. This Memo briefly outlays federal emergency declarations and powers focused on this outcome.

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State-Based Abortion Protections

Fact SheetReproductive Health and Equity Maternal and Child HealthLegislation and Legal ChallengesHealth and Health Care

September 9, 2022
by Jennifer Piatt

In light of the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 24, 2022, this Memo examines current state-based abortion protections via (1) state statutory and constitutional language, (2) state Supreme Court decisions, (3) state constitutional amendment proposals, and (4) litigation addressing state-based constitutional abortion rights.

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Abortion Access: Post-Dobbs Litigation Themes

Fact SheetReproductive Health and Equity Legislation and Legal ChallengesHealth and Health Care

September 9, 2022
by Erica White

Following the Court’s decision in Dobbs, some states have sought to provide greater or enhanced protections for abortion access. Other states, however, have initiated a series of measures to greatly limit or inhibit abortions. These actions include (a) implementation of pre-existing “trigger” laws banning procedures the moment abortion was no longer a federal constitutional right; (b) enforcement of decades-old laws banning abortion that were never repealed (following the Supreme Court’s initial decision affirming a right to abortion in Roe); and (c) passage of new statutes restricting abortions. This memo provides an illustrative discussion of key emerging themes from litigation challenging state-based anti-abortions laws or policies.

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Exemptions to School Entry Vaccines and Corresponding Vaccine Coverage

Fact SheetLegislation and Legal ChallengesMechanisms for Advancing Public HealthMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

August 29, 2022
by Brianne Schell and Leila Barraza

On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (Dobbs) that the fully overturned Roe v. Wade (Roe) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (Casey), cases which upheld constitutional rights to abortion. In the aftermath, legal authorities to regulate and even ban abortion have shifted back largely to state (or local) governments. Profound national reactions and public health repercussions may necessitate extraordinary responses, including the potential use of federal emergency response powers. This Memo briefly outlays federal emergency declarations and powers focused on this outcome.

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Tennessee’s Naloxone Access Law, Explained

Fact SheetHarm Reduction Legal ProjectHarm Reduction Legal Project ResourcesOpioid Misuse and Overdose PreventionTennessee

August 4, 2022
by Amy Lieberman and Corey Davis

In 2021 drug overdose claimed the lives of nearly 108,000 people, and either by themselves or in combination with other drugs or alcohol, opioids were responsible for approximately 75 percent of these deaths. Many of these deaths could have been prevented with the administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone and, where needed, other emergency care. This fact sheet outlines modifications and other changes to laws in Tennessee to increase access to naloxone, including removal of some confusing language that previously limited the impact of state efforts to increase access to lifesaving opioid antagonist medications.

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The Limits of HIPAA in Keeping Reproductive Health Records Private

Fact SheetHealth Data Sharing and PrivacyLegislation and Legal ChallengesHealth and Health Care

August 2, 2022
by Stephen Murphy

In its recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization, the United States Supreme Court held there is no constitutional right to abortion. The dissenters in Dobbs warned of far-reaching state restrictions that may include blocking pregnant individuals from traveling to another state to terminate a pregnancy; prohibiting pregnant individuals from obtaining abortion pills out-of-state; and even criminalizing the provision of information to those seeking out-of-state abortions. With these broad ramifications in mind, the threat of law enforcement gaining access to health records is a growing concern. In this fact sheet, we provide additional guidance on how HIPAA applies to abortion records. We caution that HIPAA includes several provisions permitting disclosure of an individual’s abortion records to law enforcement when specific conditions are met.

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Ballot Measures on Abortion Access

Fact SheetMechanisms for Advancing Health EquityReproductive Health and Equity 

July 26, 2022

In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that there is no constitutional right to abortion, state action becomes all the more important for those seeking access to abortion or other types of reproductive health care. While there are existing abortion protections in state statutes and in state constitutions as interpreted by state courts, these protections are being litigated and decided via ballot measures. Ballot measures are one way that states pass new laws. These measures are especially relevant as at least five states will vote on ballot measures regarding abortion access in 2022 and three states already approved ballot measures in 2018 and 2020. This resource provides the details on these ballot measures.

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Legality of Dispensing Naloxone to Minors in California

Fact SheetHarm Reduction Legal ProjectHarm Reduction Legal Project ResourcesOpioid Misuse and Overdose PreventionCalifornia

July 14, 2022
by Amy Lieberman and Corey Davis

There are many reasons a person under the age of 18 may wish to obtain the life-saving overdose reversal medication naloxone or another opioid antagonist. Substance use disorders often develop in adolescence, and around 10 percent of overdoses nationally occur in youth and young adults below 26 years old.  In 2020, over 15 percent (874 out of 5,502) overdose deaths in California occurred in individuals under the age of 25.  Additionally, individuals under the age of 18 may be able to intervene in the overdose of an adult, such as a friend or family member. This fact sheet examines the legality of dispensing naloxone to minors in California.

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Legality of Expired Naloxone in Tennessee

Fact SheetHarm Reduction Legal ProjectHarm Reduction Legal Project ResourcesOpioid Misuse and Overdose PreventionTennessee

July 14, 2022
by Amy Lieberman and Corey Davis

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have modified their laws to increase access to naloxone, the standard first-line treatment for opioid overdose. While these laws have been successful in increasing access to this lifesaving medication, few explicitly address the legality of distributing and administering naloxone that is past its expiration date. This fact sheet discusses whether Tennessee laws forbid the prescription, dispensing, distribution, possession, or administration of expired naloxone and whether medical professionals and others who take such actions might be held liable.  

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