WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden will sign an executive order on Wednesday aimed in part at making it easier for women seeking abortions to travel between states to access the procedure.
More specifically, one of the directives Biden will issue would allow states that have not outlawed abortion to apply for special Medicaid waivers that would, in effect, help them treat women who have traveled abroad the state.
The order will also call on health care providers to comply with federal nondiscrimination laws and streamline the collection of key data and information on maternal health at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The details were described by senior administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the executive order ahead of a formal announcement.
Biden, who remains in isolation at the White House residence after a recovering case of COVID-19, will sign the executive order as he helps launch a federal task force on access to reproductive care, led by Vice President Kamala Harris, officials said.
The new order, however, falls short of what many Democratic lawmakers and abortion advocacy groups have demanded of the Biden administration since the Supreme Court’s decision that overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. A key demand has been for Biden to declare a public health emergency over abortion, which White House officials have said would do little to free up federal resources or activate new legal authorities.
Wednesday’s order is the latest in a series of executive actions by the Biden administration since the constitutional right to an abortion was struck down in Women’s Health Organization Dobbs v. Jackson in June.
Separately, on Tuesday, the Justice Department sued Idaho over its statute criminalizing abortions, with Attorney General Merrick Garland arguing that it violates federal law.
Follow AP’s abortion coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/abortion.
Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.