Abortion rights: Biden signs new decree on abortion rights: “Women’s health and lives are at stake”


The president said the order helps women travel out of state to get abortions, ensures health care providers comply with federal law so women aren’t delayed in getting abortions. care and advance research and data collection “to assess the impact this reproductive health crisis is having on maternal health and other health conditions and outcomes.

Biden spoke of the “chaos and uncertainty” following the Supreme Court decision and said, “Women’s health and lives are at stake.”

“Emergency medical care is denied to women who miscarry, doctors don’t know what they can do for their patients, pharmacists don’t know if they can fill prescriptions they’ve always filled previously, a tragic case of rape survivors, including a 10-year-old girl forced to travel to another state for treatment,” Biden said before signing the order.

The order comes the day after Kansas voters won a landslide victory for abortion rights advocates and rejected a measure that would have allowed the GOP-led legislature to impose new restrictions. It was a vote that Biden celebrated at the White House.

“In a decisive victory, voters made it clear that politicians should not interfere with the human rights of women. And voters in Kansas sent a strong signal that this fall the American people will vote to preserve and protect the right and will refuse to let them be ripped off by politicians,” Biden said at the event. “And my administration has their backs.”

Biden signed the executive order during the inaugural meeting of the administration’s recently created task force on access to reproductive health care, which is made up of representatives from several federal government departments. Cabinet members briefed the President on the steps their respective agencies have taken to uphold reproductive rights.

The order directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, to consider “all appropriate measures to ensure that health care providers comply with federal non-discrimination laws so that women receive without delay medically necessary care”, including measures to provide healthcare providers with technical and legal information. guidance amid the state’s patchwork of legal restrictions on abortion care following the Supreme Court ruling.

Last month, CNN reported that doctors had struggled to navigate Byzantine guidelines as states across the country passed ever-tighter abortion restrictions, with experts warning of ‘a huge chilling effect’ about doctors performing miscarriage surgeries, even when the doctors “are confident that what they are doing is within the letter of the law.”
Wednesday’s order also directs HHS to consider actions to ensure that women traveling across state lines to have abortions have access to health care services, including through Medicaid. Last month, a bill guaranteeing women the right to cross state lines to have abortions failed to pass the Senate after Republicans blocked the measure.
According to a senior administration official, this would allow states to provide care to out-of-state patients seeking abortions through a Medicaid 1115 waiver, allowing states to waive certain state requirements in provision of care and to help cover “some costs”.

The executive order further directs HHS to expand its maternal health data research efforts, “to accurately measure the impact that declining access to reproductive health services is having on women’s health,” it said. the official said on Tuesday.

Pressed Wednesday on how the executive order on reproductive care avoids going against the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds to perform abortions, the White House press secretary, Karine Jean Pierre, said the Department of Health and Human Services “will come up with details on the specifics of how they will work with states” to provide care through Medicaid waivers.

“So, as you know, Medicaid provides comprehensive health care for low-income women – that care includes family planning services such as contraception, non-emergency medical services, transportation, and support services such as targeted case management, which allows health care providers to help patients coordinate their care,” Jean-Pierre told CNN’s MJ Lee. “And that also includes abortion care in certain circumstances, as accepted by the Hyde Amendment, which is rape, incest, and the life of the mother.”

The executive order, Jean-Pierre told Lee, “will cover care that is otherwise part of Medicaid,” including non-emergency medical travel and other health care services.

She added: “The Hyde Amendment is the law and we will, we will follow that law.”

Wednesday’s executive order is the second signed by Biden following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Last month, Biden signed an order he said would protect access to abortion care and contraceptives, protect patient privacy, and establish an interagency task force to use “all available federal tools to protect access to reproductive health care”.

Ultimately, however, the president can take no action to restore the national right to abortion, and Biden has publicly acknowledged that his options for expanding abortion access remain limited.

This story has been updated with additional information.


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