After Kansas Shocker Biden To Sign Major Executive Order Protecting Access To Reproductive Healthcare

The timing may be a coincidence, but on the day after pro-choice Americans got a big victory in deep-red Kansas, President Biden will sign an important executive order.

Biden To Sign Major Executive Order On Reproductive Healthcare

The Biden administration announced the action in a fact sheet provided to PoliticusUSA:

President Biden will issue an Executive Order on Securing Access to Reproductive and Other Healthcare Services, building on actions that the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to protect access to reproductive healthcare services and defend women’s fundamental rights.  The President kick off the Vice President’s first meeting of the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access. At the meeting, the Cabinet will discuss their progress and the path forward to address the women’s health crisis in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

EXECUTIVE ORDER ON SECURING ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE AND OTHER HEALTHCARE SERVICES
 
Through today’s Executive Order, the President will announce actions to:
 

  • Support Patients Traveling Out of State for Medical Care.  The Executive Order directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider action to advance access to reproductive healthcare services, including through Medicaid for patients who travel out of state for reproductive healthcare services.  This directive is in line with the President and the Attorney General’s clear statements on the Administration’s commitment to defending the bedrock right to travel across state lines to seek reproductive healthcare in states where those services remain legal.
     
  • Ensure Health Care Providers Comply with Federal Non-Discrimination Law.  The Executive Order directs the Secretary of HHS to consider all appropriate actions to ensure health care providers comply with Federal non-discrimination laws so that women receive medically necessary care without delay.  These actions could include providing technical assistance for health care providers who may be confused or unsure of their obligations in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs; convening providers to convey information on their obligations and the potential consequences of non-compliance; and issuing additional guidance or taking other appropriate action in response to any complaints or reports of non-compliance with federal non-discrimination laws.
     
  • Promote Research and Data Collection on Maternal Health Outcomes.  To accurately measure the impact that diminishing access to reproductive health care services has on women’s health, the Executive Order directs the Secretary of HHS to evaluate and improve research, data collection, and data analysis efforts at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on maternal health and other health outcomes.
     

INTERAGENCY TASK FORCE ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHCARE ACCESS
 
The President will sign the Executive Order at the first meeting of the interagency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access.  After the President signs the Executive Order, Cabinet heads will report on the progress they have made in implementing the President’s July 8, 2022 Executive Order on Protecting Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services, as well as related actions to defend reproductive rights.
 
Established by Executive Order, the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access is co-chaired by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, and the Director of the White House Gender Policy Council, Jennifer Klein.  The Task Force coordinates and drives efforts across the Federal government to protect access to reproductive healthcare services and defend reproductive rights.
Offices across the White House – including the Office of the Vice President, the Office of White House Counsel, the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the National Security Council, the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy –also serve on the Task Force alongside the following Federal agencies:

  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of the Treasury
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Office of Personnel Management

President Biden Is Using The Executive Branch To Protect Access To Reproductive Healthcare

President Biden can’t codify Roe. Legislation is the jurisdiction of Congress, but his Executive Branch does implement the law, and that is where Biden is focused. The Department of Justice is suing the state of Idaho over its abortion ban because it violates federal law on access to healthcare.

The Department of Health and Human Services has mandated that any provider that accepts federal money must make reproductive healthcare available for women when the health or life of the mother is at stake.

President Biden is using the full power of the Executive Branch to protect access, and after Republicans were stunned by the pro-choice referendum victory in Kansas, Americans have made it clear that they want fundamental healthcare rights protected.

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