October 5, 2022

Biden signs second executive order on abortion in wake of Roe reversal

In an attempt to tamp down apoplexy on the left following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, President Joe Biden signed a second executive order on abortion Wednesday, this time in an effort to provide financial assistance to women traveling across state lines to obtain the procedure, as ABC News reports.

According to the White House, the order is designed to facilitate Medicaid payment of abortion-related expenses for those who reside in states where the procedure has been prohibited and decide to travel to a location where it remains legal.

“Today, I’m signing the second executive order that responds to the health care crisis that has unfolded since the Supreme Court overturned Roe and that women are facing all across America,” said Biden.

“I believe Roe got it right, and it’s been the law for close to 50 years,” the president continued, adding, “[a]nd I commit to the American people we’re doing everything in our power to safeguard access to health care, including the right to choose that women had under Roe v. Wade, which was ripped away by this extreme court.”

As the Daily Wire noted, the order instructs Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to provide opportunities for states in which out-of-state patients are receiving abortions to seek Medicaid waivers.

“In furtherance of the policy set forth in section 1 of this order, the Secretary of HHS shall consider actions to advance to reproductive healthcare services, including, to the extent permitted by Federal law, through Medicaid for patients traveling across State lines for medical care,” Biden’s declaration read.

According to Fox News, the order also instructs HHS to enforce compliance among health care providers with federal non-discrimination requirements with regard to abortion service and demands the collection of data designed to measure the impact of “access to reproductive healthcare on maternal health outcomes and other health outcomes.”

Uncertainty, however, remains as to how providing federal Medicare coverage for those traveling for the purpose of pregnancy termination can be reconciled with the Hyde Amendment, a provision that bans the use of federal funds for abortion except in the event of incest or rape, or to save the life of the mother.

Asked about the apparent conflict, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre replied that Biden’s order “will cover care that is otherwise part of Medicaid,” such as “abortion care in certain circumstances, as accepted by the Hyde Amendment,” and said, “[t]his EO will not violate the Hyde Amendment. It is law, and we followed the law here,” though that assertion is certain to face a difficult challenge in court, as National Review explained.

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