The president said the order helps women travel out of state to get abortions, ensures health care providers follow federal law so women aren’t delayed in getting care, and advances 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” that has followed the Supreme Court decision and said: “Women’s health and lives are on the line.”
Women experiencing miscarriages are denied emergency medical care, doctors are unsure what they can do to provide for their patients, pharmacists are unsure if they can fill the prescriptions they have always filled before, a tragic case of rape survivors , including a 10-year-old girl was forced to travel to another state to be cared for,” Biden said before signing the order.
The order comes a day after Kansas voters gave abortion rights advocates a landslide victory and defeated 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 women’s basic rights. And Kansas voters sent a powerful signal that this fall the American people will vote to preserve and protect the right and will to refuse to allow them. to be robbed by politicians,” Biden said at the event. “And my administration has my back.”
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 multiple departments across the federal government. Cabinet members briefed the President on the steps their respective agencies have taken to protect reproductive rights.
The order directs Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to consider “all appropriate actions to ensure that health care providers comply with federal non-discrimination laws so that women receive necessary medical care without delay.” , including steps to provide technical and legal health care providers. guidelines amid state legal restrictions on abortion care after Supreme Court ruling.
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.
Pressed Wednesday on how the president’s executive order on reproductive care avoids opposition to the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds to perform abortions, White House press secretary Karine Jean Pierre said the Department of Health and Human Services will to “come up with the 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 like contraception, non-emergency medical, transportation, and support services like targeted case management, which allows providers of healthcare to help patients coordinate their care,” Jean-Pierre told CNN’s MJ Lee. “And it also includes abortion care under certain circumstances, as recognized by the Hyde Amendment, which is rape, incest, and the life of the mother.”
The executive order, Jean-Pierre Lee said, “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 follow that law.”
Ultimately, however, there is no action the President can take to restore the nationwide right to an abortion, and Biden has publicly acknowledged that his options for expanding abortion access remain limited.
This story has been updated with additional information.