Abortion rights: Biden signs executive order to protect access to abortion and provide guidance to healthcare providers

The president said the order will help women travel out of state to get abortions, ensure health care providers comply with federal law so women aren’t delayed in getting abortions. care and advance research and data collection “to assess the impact this reproductive health crisis is having on maternal health and other health issues.”

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

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 non-discrimination laws so that women receive without delay medically necessary care”, including measures to provide healthcare providers with technical and legal information. guidance amid the state’s patchwork of legal restrictions on abortion care following the Supreme Court ruling.

Last month, CNN reported Doctors have struggled to navigate Byzantine guidelines as states across the country pass ever-tighter abortion restrictions, with experts warning of ‘a huge chilling effect’ on doctors performing fake surgeries layer even when doctors “are satisfied that what they are doing is within the letter of the law.”
Wednesday’s order also directs HHS to consider actions to ensure that women traveling across state lines to have abortions have access to health care services, including through Medicaid. Last month, a bill guaranteeing women the right to cross state lines to have an abortion failed to pass the Senate after Republicans blocked the measure.
According to the official, this would allow states to provide care for out-of-state patients seeking abortions through a Medicaid 1115 waiverallowing states to waive certain state requirements for providing care and helping to cover “certain costs”.

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

Wednesday’s executive order is the the second signed by Biden following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Last month, Biden signed an order he said would protect 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, the president can take no action to restore the national right to abortion, and Biden has publicly acknowledged that his options for expanding abortion access remain limited.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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