Biden signs executive order to protect abortion travel

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland, well, listen as President Joe Biden speaks virtually at the first meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access in the Indian Treaty Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House Washington campus, Wednesday, August 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas and Atty. Gene. Merrick Garland, good, listen as President Biden speaks virtually at the first meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access in Washington on August 3, 2022. (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

President Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday laying the groundwork for Medicaid to help women seeking abortions to travel between states to access the procedure.

The details are still being worked out, and the administration faces a challenging legal landscape as it is illegal to use federal funding to pay for abortions unless the woman’s life is in danger or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

However, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Department of Health and Human Services would invite states where abortion remains legal to apply for permission to use Medicaid funds to “provide reproductive health care to women living in live in states where abortion is prohibited”.

Crossing state lines to get abortions has become an increasingly important issue since the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade destroyed and opened the door to new state-level abortion restrictions.

The National Abortion Federation said on Wednesday that in the month since the decision, more women have asked for help getting the procedure. The organization paid for 76 hotel rooms and booked 52 bus or plane trips, compared to just a handful in the same period last year.

Biden’s order also calls on healthcare providers to comply with federal non-discrimination laws and to prevent the collection of important maternal health data and information from the National Institutes of Health and the centers for disease control and prevention.

Biden described the court’s decision on abortion as a “healthcare crisis,” and said he wants “every part of the federal government to do its part at this critical time when women’s health and lives are at stake.” are the game.”

The order came a day later Kansas voters protected the right to abortion in the conservative state, an outcome Biden celebrated.

Biden signed the warrant from the White House residence, where he continues to isolate himself with… a rebound case of COVID-19. He virtually participated in a meeting led by Vice President Kamala Harris.

“I wish I was with you in person, honestly,” Biden said. “But I’ll get there.”

The new order nevertheless falls short of what many Democratic lawmakers and abortion advocacy groups have demanded from the Biden administration. One of the leaders has asked Biden to explain: a public health emergency on abortion, which White House officials have said would do little to free up federal resources or activate new legal authorities.

Wednesday’s order is the latest in a series of executive actions by the Biden administration since the constitutional right to abortion was eliminated in the Supreme Court ruling on Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in June.

Separately, on Tuesday, the Justice Department sued Idaho about his statute that criminalizes abortions, with Atty. Gene. Merrick Garland argues that it violates federal law.

Towards the end of Biden’s remarks, he again called on Congress to allow Roe vs. Wade to codify into law.

“If Congress fails to act, the people of this country must elect senators and representatives who will restore Roe and protect the right to privacy, liberty and equality.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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