WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday aimed at helping women cross state borders to acquire abortions, his second order because the Supreme Court docket overturned the constitutional proper to the process.
The order directs the Division of Well being and Human Companies to “consider” permitting Medicaid funds for use to help individuals touring between states to get abortions. The order additionally directs HHS to make sure that well being care suppliers adjust to federal anti-discrimination legal guidelines so women obtain “medically necessary care without delay.”
Biden, who spoke nearly to his newly fashioned job pressure on reproductive well being care entry as he continues his Covid isolation, referred to as the state of abortion entry a “health care crisis” and warned that Republicans wish to ban the process nationwide.
Voters in Kansas on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a poll measure that might have eliminated language within the state’s structure defending abortion rights.
“This fight is not over, and we saw that last night in Kansas,” Biden stated. “The court practically dared women in this country to go to the ballot box and restore the right to choose.”
Kansas, which borders states which have severely restricted abortion entry following the Supreme Court docket’s resolution to overturn Roe v. Wade, together with Oklahoma and Missouri, has already turn into a vacation spot for out-of-state women looking for entry to abortion care.
White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that it will be as much as HHS to make sure that the implementation of the order doesn’t violate the Hyde Modification, which bans utilizing federal funds for abortions besides in circumstances of rape, incest or hazard to the lifetime of the lady. It’s unclear how HHS will go about doing that, and the order is more likely to face authorized challenges from conservatives.
“This is in consultation with legal experts when we make these announcements and the president has been very clear he is going to continue to do whatever he can to make sure that a woman’s right to choose continues to be protected the best way that he can from the federal government,” she stated.
Jean-Pierre stated additionally stated HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra will “figure out the details and the timeline.”
Biden signed an executive order last month to safeguard access to reproductive health care services, including abortion and contraception.
Still, the actions fall short of what some Democrats and advocates have called for, such as declaring a public health emergency over abortion.
Biden has maintained that the best way to safeguard access to abortion is for Congress to pass a law legalizing abortion access nationwide, a move that Democrats do not have enough votes for.
“We’re doing everything in our power to safeguard access to health care,” Biden stated. “If Congress fails to act, the people in this country need to elect senators and representatives who will restore Roe and protect the right to privacy, freedom and equality.”