Thursday, August 04, 2022

Biden Issues Executive Order On Access To Reproductive Health Care Services

Yesterday, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Securing Access to Reproductive and Other Healthcare Services (full text). The White House also issued a Fact Sheet explaining the Executive Order.  The Executive Order reads in part:

There have been numerous reports of women denied health- and life-saving emergency care, as providers fearful of legal reprisal delay necessary treatment for patients until their conditions worsen to dangerous levels.  There are also reports of women of reproductive age being denied prescription medication at pharmacies — including medication that is used to treat stomach ulcers, lupus, arthritis, and cancer — due to concerns that these medications, some of which can be used in medication abortions, could be used to terminate a pregnancy.  Reportedly, a healthcare provider, citing a State law restricting abortion, even temporarily stopped providing emergency contraception.

As it remains the policy of my Administration to support women’s access to reproductive healthcare services, including their ability to travel to seek abortion care in States where it is legal, I am directing my Administration to take further action to protect access to reproductive healthcare services and to address the crisis facing women’s health and public health more broadly.

The Executive Order among other things directs the HHS Secretary to advance access to Medicaid coverage for patients traveling across state lines for medical care. It also directs the Secretary to promote compliance with non-discrimination laws in obtaining medical care.