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Biden Signs Executive Order to safeguard Reproductive Rights

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration took actions Wednesday to help expand safeguard women’s reproductive health rights in the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

‘This Fight isn’t Over’

Because reproductive rights are actually in the hands of governors and state legislatures, “even the life span of mom is involved, in a few states,” Biden said. “Republican congressmen with extreme … ideology are determined to go even more, discussing nationwide bans that could outlaw abortion atlanta divorce attorneys stage, atlanta divorce attorneys circumstance, and seeking the broader to privacy aswell. But when i stated before, this fight isn’t over.”

The president, who was simply employed in isolation in the White House after testing positive for COVID-19 another time, signed an executive order Wednesday that could:

  • Increase access for patients who travel out of state for abortions: The executive order demands the HHS secretary to “consider action to advance access” to reproductive healthcare services, including for Medicaid patients who travel out of state for abortions.
  • Make sure that healthcare providers follow federal non-discrimination laws: Which could include helping providers that are unsure of these obligations given that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade; ending up in providers to describe their obligations and also the consequences of not complying with non-discrimination rules; and “issuing additional guidance or taking other appropriate action in reaction to any complaints or reports of non-compliance with federal non-discrimination laws.”
  • Promote research and data collection on maternal health outcomes: The HHS secretary must “evaluate and improve research, data collection, and data analysis efforts at the National Institutes of Health insurance and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on maternal health insurance and other health outcomes” linked to diminished usage of reproductive healthcare, in accordance with a White House fact sheet.

Biden’s remarks came at the inaugural meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access, which he said was made having an earlier executive order “to make sure that every section of the authorities does its part as of this critical moment where women’s health insurance and lives are at risk amidst the chaos and uncertainty unleashed by this decision.” He gave a few examples: “Emergency health care being denied to women experiencing miscarriages, doctors uncertain in what they are able to do to supply for his or her patients, and pharmacists unsure if they can fill prescriptions that they’ve always filled before.”

Attorney General Discusses Lawsuit Against Idaho

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said he was “thrilled” to be named co-chair of the duty force. “I understand we speak for a lot of people who are looking forward to us to accomplish everything we are able to because the Supreme Court’s misguided decision put the lives of an incredible number of our fellow Americans at an increased risk, and stripped away freedom and autonomy,” said Becerra. He listed several actions his agency had already taken, including launching the reproductiverights.gov website to see folks of their reproductive rights; issuing guidance to roughly 60,000 retail pharmacies about protecting patients from discrimination; and notifying all medical health insurance carriers about their obligation “never to discriminate in the dispensation of services and care to all or any patients.”

Also at the meeting, Attorney General Merrick Garland discussed a lawsuit the Justice Department filed on Tuesday contrary to the state of Idaho over an anti-abortion law for the reason that declare that would criminally prosecute doctors who provided medically necessary abortions to women facing medical emergencies. “Idaho’s near total ban on abortion directly conflicts with the Emergency TREATMENT and Active Labor Act (EMTALA),” Garland said.

“Federal law requires hospitals receiving Medicare funds to supply necessary stabilizing treatment to people experiencing an emergency condition,” he continued. “In case a patient makes a crisis room with a medical emergency jeopardizing the patient’s life or health, a healthcare facility must provide the procedure essential to stabilize that condition. This consists of abortion when this is the necessary treatment.” He added that the Justice Department recently formed a Reproductive Rights Task Force to monitor similar state laws and do something against them as needed.

Kansas Voters Reject Anti-Abortion Amendment

Also on Tuesday, voters in Kansas overwhelmingly rejected — by way of a vote of 58.8% to 41.2% — a proposed state constitutional amendment that could have allowed hawaii legislature to ban abortion entirely without exceptions for rape or incest. The proposed amendment read the following: “Because Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of hawaii of Kansas will not require government funding of abortion and will not create or secure the right to abortion. To the extent permitted by the constitution of america, individuals, through their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws regarding abortion, including, however, not limited by, laws that take into account circumstances of pregnancy caused by rape or incest, or circumstances necessarily to save the life span of mom.”

A reaction to the vote was divided across the usual lines. “This vote came at a crucial time as increasingly more states proceed to pass harmful, restrictive abortion bans,” Melissa Fowler, chief program officer at the National Abortion Federation, said Tuesday in a statement. “Today, Kansans can celebrate that their fundamental rights to basic healthcare and bodily autonomy remain protected by the state’s constitution.”

“Today can be an enormous victory for folks in Kansas who voted to safeguard their fundamental to personal and bodily autonomy,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the guts for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement Tuesday. “In 2019, the Supreme Court of Kansas recognized that the rights to self-determination and bodily autonomy are deeply rooted in Kansas history and values, now the Kansas voters resoundingly agreed. Just like the strong most people over the U.S., Kansans desire to make their very own decisions about abortion.”

On the far side of the issue, Mallory Carroll, spokeswoman for SBA Pro-Life America, an offshoot of the conservative group Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement Tuesday that the vote was “an enormous disappointment for pro-life Kansans and Americans nationwide … Due to tonight’s results, Kansas could shortly become home to unrestricted abortion on demand — even late-term abortion without limits, covered by taxpayers. Individuals and their elected legislators will have no recourse to utilize the various tools of democracy to enact laws that reflect consensus.”

The National To Life Committee (NRLC) also expressed disappointment. “Sadly, thousands of babies will die in Kansas,” the NRLC said in a statement Wednesday. The business asserted that unlike misinformation spread by its opponents, “pro-life legislation allows removing ectopic pregnancies along with other procedures to save lots of the life span of mom, the treating miscarriages, and will not impose any penalties on women who’ve abortions.”

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    Joyce Frieden oversees MedPage Todays Washington coverage, including stories about Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, healthcare trade associations, and federal agencies. She’s 35 years of experience covering health policy. Follow

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