The President of the United States, Joe Biden, signed an executive order to help guarantee access to abortion in light of the Supreme Court’s decision on June 24 to eliminate the constitutional right to the procedure, which had been in force at the federal level since 1973. .
The president said the executive order will help women travel out of states that now ban voluntary termination of pregnancy for treatment in states that do, ensure health care providers comply with federal law so women don’t delay receiving care and advance research and data collection “to assess the impact this reproductive health crisis is having on maternal health and other health conditions.”
“CHAOS AND UNCERTAINTY”
Biden spoke of the “chaos and uncertainty” that occurred as a result of the Supreme Court decision, with a clear conservative majority reached during the administration of Republican Donald Trump, and stated that “the health and lives of women are at stake. play”.
“Women experiencing miscarriages are denied emergency medical care, doctors don’t know what they can do to care for their patients, pharmacists aren’t sure they can fill the prescriptions they’ve always filled before, a tragic case of survivors of rape, including a 10-year-old girl forced to travel to another state for care,” Biden said before signing the order.
This Executive Order comes a day after Kansas voters handed abortion-rights advocates a major victory and defeated a measure that would have allowed the GOP-led legislature to impose new restrictions. It was a vote that Biden held at the White House.
The inhabitants of the state of Kansas voted in favor of maintaining the right to abortion, in the first popular consultation on the subject since the Supreme Court of the United States ended the federal right to that procedure in June.
In that vote, the conservative Midwestern state rejected the Value Both (mother and baby) amendment, introduced by the Republican majority, which would have eliminated the state constitutional right with the aim of returning lawmakers to regulation of the procedure.
The vote was seen as a test for abortion rights across the country, as Republican-dominated legislatures have rushed to impose strict bans on the procedure following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. of 1973, which guaranteed the right throughout the country.
“In a decisive victory, voters made it clear that politicians should not interfere with the fundamental rights of women. Kansas voters sent a powerful signal that this fall the American people will vote to preserve and protect the right and refuse to let them be ripped away by politicians, and my administration stands with them,” Biden said at the signing.
The president signed the decree during the inaugural meeting of the administration’s newly established Working Group on Access to Reproductive Health Care, a working group made up of representatives from various government departments.
Cabinet members are also expected to brief the president on steps their respective agencies have taken “to uphold reproductive rights” at the meeting, an administration official said.
The order directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, to consider “all appropriate measures to ensure that health care providers comply with federal anti-discrimination laws so that women receive medically necessary care without delay,” including steps to provide health care providers with technical and legal guidance amid the patchwork of state legal restrictions on abortion care following the Supreme Court decision.
The executive order also directs HHS to consider actions to ensure that women who travel across state lines seeking abortions have access to health care services, including through Medicaid.
Last month, a bill guaranteeing women the right to travel across states for abortions failed to pass the Senate after Republicans blocked the measure.
The decree is the second signed by Biden after the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. In early July, he signed an executive order that he said would safeguard access to abortion care and contraceptives, protect patient privacy and establish an interagency task force to use “all available federal tools to protect access to reproductive health care.
Ultimately, however, there is no action the president can take to restore the national right to abortion, and Biden has publicly acknowledged that his options for expanding abortion access remain limited.