President Biden issued an executive order on Wednesday to protect people’s ability to travel out of state to access abortion.
State of play: Biden signed the executive order during the first meeting of the White House Task Force on Reproductive Health Care, which is aimed at coordinating the federal government’s efforts on reproductive health.
Details: The IS an executive order directs the Department of Health and Human Services to “consider action to advance access” to reproductive health services, including through Medicaid for patients traveling out of state.
- Biden is also asking HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to consider “all appropriate actions” to ensure that health providers follow federal non-discrimination laws so that people can “promptly receive medically necessary care.”
- Becerra also needs to evaluate and improve “research, data collection and data analysis efforts” on maternal health.
What he is saying: Biden said this executive order will respond to the “health care crisis that has emerged since the Supreme Court reversed Roe and is facing women across America.”
- The order will help “protect access to health care, including the right to choose and contraception. [It] promotes the safety and security of clinics, patients and providers, and protects patient privacy and access to accurate information.”
- “I believe Roe got it right. It has been the law for almost 50 years. And I promised the American people that we are doing everything in our power to protect access to health care, including the right to choose who was by women under Roe v. Wade, which was struck down by this great court.”
Zoom out: While the Biden administration has taken some steps to respond to the Supreme Court ruling, the executive branch’s role in protecting abortion care has been limited without congressional action.