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Biden signs an executive order on abortion access

President Joe Biden recently signed an executive that secures access to reproductive and other healthcare services, which would help patients travel out of state to receive medical care.
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The order directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to “consider action” to advance access to reproductive healthcare services, including through Medicaid, for patients who travel out of state, calls for health care providers to follow non-discrimination laws, and pushes for a new study.

President Joe Biden recently signed an executive that secures access to reproductive and other healthcare services, which would help patients travel out of state to receive medical care. 

President Biden signed the order on Wednesday in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to wipe out the 50-year constitutional precedent of Roe v. Wade. The order directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to “consider action” to advance access to reproductive healthcare services, including through Medicaid, for patients who travel out of state.  

​“[This] second executive order responds to the healthcare crisis that has unfolded since the Supreme Court overturned Roe and that women are facing all across America,” Biden said in a statement. 

The order also calls to ensure health care providers comply with Federal Non-Discrimination Law so patients can receive medically necessary care without delay. The administration said the actions include “providing technical assistance for healthcare providers who may be confused or unsure of their obligations in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs”. 

“​​Under federal law, no woman — whether pregnant or not, no matter where she lives — should be turned away or denied necessary treatment during a medical crisis,” Biden said.  

The newly signed order also promotes research and data collection on Maternal Health outcomes and data analysis efforts at the National Institute of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The order comes after Kansas voters on Tuesday rejected an amendment that sought to completely remove abortion rights from the state constitution. Also on Tuesday, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit seeking to enjoin Idaho’s abortion prohibition to the extent that it makes abortion a crime even when necessary to prevent serious risks to the health of pregnant patients. 

“​​As the President said, the people of Kansas spoke yesterday, and they spoke loud and clear. They said this is not a partisan issue. The women of America should not be the subject of partisan debate or perspective,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a statement. “The people of Kansas spoke and said this is a matter of defense of basic principles of liberty and freedom in America. And they spoke loudly saying that they trust women to make decisions about their own lives and their bodies. And they said the government should not be mandating those decisions for the women of America,” she said. 

Administration officials say this executive order builds on another signed on July 8 to create the interagency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access, which coordinates and drives efforts across the Federal government to protect access to reproductive healthcare services and defend reproductive rights.

“I commit to the American people that we’re doing everything in our power to safeguard access to healthcare, including the right to choose that women had under Roe v. Wade, which was ripped away by this extreme court,” Biden said.