President Joe Biden is not content to abide by the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which returned the question of legalized abortion to the states. Biden is slated to announce his intention to issue yet another executive order, this time to give federal agencies authority over abortion within states that have banned or limited it.
The White House announced that Biden would sign his new executive order on Friday, taking executive action where Congress has not been able to act, and getting in the way of the rights of states to make their own determinations as to how to proceed with abortion.
Biden will speak on “protecting access to reproductive healthcare services,” the favored term for pregnancy termination. While his office does not have the authority to either overturn the ruling in Dobbs, or to federally legalize abortion, Biden intends to require both the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to “push back against any state efforts to limit a woman’s ability to go across state lines for a legal abortion or to get federally approved abortion medication,” PBS reports.
Biden, a Catholic, has been outspoken in his defense of women to have access to abortion, this despite his administration barely being able to say what a woman is, preferring instead the term “birthing person” to mother. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra refused even to define the term “birthing person,” and was unwilling to say that “birthing persons” are actually females, and that females are the only humans in the history of the world who are capable of carrying babies to term and birthing them. Women lawmakers have taken issue with this failure.
Biden’s remarks follow statements made by Becerra, who said after the release of the Dobbs ruling that HHS would “increase access to medication abortion,” and to continue offer programs, per federal law, that “provide medication abortion in limited circumstances, including life of the woman, rape, or incest.”
Becerra said further that he would be “directing the Office for Civil Rights within HHS to ensure patient privacy and nondiscrimination for patients seeking reproductive health care, as well as for providers who offer reproductive health care.”
Biden’s order will also “direct agencies to work to educate medical providers and insurers about how and when they are required to share privileged patient information with authorities,” Fox News reports.
Speaking to late night television host Jimmy Kimmel in June, Biden said that he would be considering an executive order to make sure that women can terminate pregnancies without any barriers. He was also considering declaring a public health emergency. Other public health emergencies have been declared for climate change, racism, and of course, the Covid pandemic.
Biden issued 77 executive orders in his first year, many of which occurred during his first day in office. In his second year so far, he has signed more than a dozen. For comparison, former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama issued 55 and 38 orders in their first years, respectively.
Democrat lawmakers have been unable to pass a federal law to secure abortion in all fifty states. Instead, they have continued to back the Women’s Health Protection Act which would legalize abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said that the federal government should open up federal lands to provide abortions in states where abortion is limited. Becerra said that was a possibility. Senator Elizabeth Warren has declared that women’s health clinics that do not provide abortion need to be stopped.