Biden considers executive orders, new funds for abortion -Breaking
WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will consider executive orders to improve access and funding for women if it is decided that the Roe v. Wade ruling which legalized abortion should be overturned by the U.S Supreme Court. Sources familiar with the matter stated this.
Politico published a rare leak last week of the Supreme Court’s initial majority opinion. It showed that the Supreme Court is ready to reverse Roe v. Wade, which stated the U.S. Constitution protected a woman’s right to decide to have an abortion.
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, said that the president had asked the White House Gender Policy Council and Department of Health and Human Services to create a plan for women’s rights.
According to Reuters, a source who advised the White House about how to address this issue said that many of the steps currently being taken are linked to federal agencies asking for more.
For example, the White House is considering pushing the Food & Drug Administration, which controls prescription drug access, to increase access to the drugs used in medical abortions, the person said. About half of abortions in America are medical and should be administered by doctors in all 50 states.
The White House discussed making it possible to order abortion pills online from international and state-based providers. It also asked the FDA for a listing of approved reputable providers.
A third option is asking Health & Human Services Administration (HHS) and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to allow Medicaid funds to be used to pay for travel expenses for lower-income women who travel out of state for abortion procedures, the source said.
These discussions will prepare the Department of Justice to defend pharmacists, doctors and institutions who perform abortions as well as women who have chosen to obtain an abortion from criminal and legal cases.
Psaki stated that although it may not be all executive orders, “a lot of this involves ensuring that there is increased access to funding and that women living in states would, should Roe be overturned by the courts, have greater access to and capabilities. Some of that might be from the Department of Justice.”
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Surgeon General’s Office could also be tapped to put out a report on the “profound physical, mental and emotional impact on women from not having access to reproductive health services,” the source said.
On Tuesday morning, Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer said to reporters that President Biden was in Washington for a meeting on executive actions. Schumer indicated that he would welcome executive actions that were legal and effective if he could.
Psaki stated that she wasn’t aware of the Tuesday meeting, but said these topics had been addressed in several meetings over several days with President Obama.
The White House would not reveal specific steps until the Supreme Court has issued a final opinion, she said.