Send email to or phone Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
HHS Office of the Secretary
E-mail Address: Secretary@HHS.gov
Phone Number: 202-690-7000
Dear Secretary Azar,
As part of the 77% percent of Americans who believe in the right to legal abortion, we’re calling on you to provide guidance to the states declaring that abortion is essential health care that cannot be delayed. It’s time that politicians and officials stop putting ideology before science and start prioritizing the health and safety of women and families everywhere.
Ohio’s attorney general has ordered health care providers in the state to stop all “nonessential and elective surgical abortions,” citing federal guidance intended to help conserve needed medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.
As Vox’s Dylan Scott has explained, technically “any procedure that can be scheduled in advance falls under that category. So elective surgeries can include heart surgeries, removing kidney stones, cancer treatments, and more.”
Abortion advocates have argued that, although abortions can be scheduled in advance, they are essential — and time-sensitive. And they say Ohio’s order is just the latest move in a long-standing campaign to restrict abortion rights.
Officials in other states support this view. In states like Washington and Massachusetts, officials have said abortions aren’t included in orders that have halted nonessential surgeries. And reproductive health experts, including those at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, recently issued a joint statement saying abortions are “an essential component of comprehensive health care.” “The consequences of being unable to obtain an abortion profoundly impact a person’s life, health, and well-being,” they wrote.
HHS Secretary Azar has the power to shape the health policy and narrative around reproductive healthcare in this nation. He can reject putting political ideology above science and make it clear that abortion is essential health care.