April 24, 2024


Biden is expected to sign the executive order during the inaugural meeting of the administration’s newly formed Task Force on Access to Reproductive Health Care, a task force made up of representatives from multiple departments across the federal government. Cabinet members are also expected to brief the president on steps their respective agencies have taken “to defend reproductive rights” at Wednesday’s meeting, an administration official told reporters on Tuesday.

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

Where state abortion bans are in the midst of legal challenges
Last month, CNN reported that doctors have struggled to navigate the byzantine guidance as states across the country pass increasingly strict abortion restrictions, with experts warning of a “huge chilling effect” on doctors who perform abortion surgeries. even when 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 guarantee that women who travel across state lines seeking abortions have access to health care services, including Medicaid. Last month, a bill guaranteeing women the right to travel across state lines to seek abortions failed to pass the Senate after Republicans blocked the measure.
According to the official, this would allow states to provide care to out-of-state patients seeking abortions Medicaid waiver 1115;allowing states to waive certain state requirements to provide care and help cover “certain costs.”

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

Wednesday’s executive order is the second signed by Biden since the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. Last month, Biden signed an order he said would safeguard access to abortion and contraception, protect patient privacy and create an interagency task force to use “every federal tool available to protect access to reproductive health care”.

Ultimately, however, there is no action the President can take to restore a nationwide right to abortion, and Biden has publicly acknowledged that his options for expanding abortion access remain limited.


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