WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday aimed at helping women cross state lines to get abortions, the second order he has made since Supreme Court he turned the constitutional right on the procedure.
The IS order orders the Department of Health and Human Services to “consider” allowing Medicaid funds to be used to help people traveling interstate obtain abortions. The order also directs HHS to ensure that health care providers comply with federal anti-discrimination laws so that women receive “prompt medically necessary care.”
Biden, who spoke virtually to his newly formed task force on access to reproductive health care while continuing his task force Covid seclusion, called access to abortion a “health care crisis” and warned that Republicans are seeking to ban the procedure nationwide.
Voters in Kansas On Tuesday, an overwhelming majority rejected a ballot measure that would have eliminated language in the state constitution protecting abortion rights.
“This fight is not over, and we saw that last night in Kansas,” Biden said. “The court almost scared the women of this country into going to the ballot box and giving back the right to choose.”
Kansas, which limits states that severely restricted access to abortion after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade’s cancellation, incl Oklahoma and Missourihas become a destination for out-of-state women seeking access to abortion care.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said HHS would be responsible for ensuring that implementation of the order does not violate the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions except in cases of rape. , mutilation or danger to life. of the woman. It’s unclear how HHS will go about doing that, and the order is likely to face legal challenges from conservatives.
“This is done in consultation with legal experts in making these announcements and the president has been very clear that he is going to continue to do whatever he can to ensure that women’s right to choose the best way he can. the federal government,” she said.
Jean-Pierre added that HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra will “verify the data and the timeline”.
Biden he signed an executive order last month to protect access to reproductive health care services, including abortion and contraception.
Still, the actions are just what some Democrats and advocates have called for, such as declaring a public health emergency over abortion.
Biden claimed that the best way to protect access to abortion is for Congress to pass a law that legalizes access to abortion nationwide, a measure that Democrats do not have enough votes for.
“Everything we can do is to protect access to health care,” Biden said. “If Congress fails to act, the people of this country must elect senators and representatives who will restore Roe and protect the right to privacy, liberty and equality.”