Biden Signs Second Executive Order on Abortion Access
President Joe Biden recently signed an executive order to protect individuals’ ability to access out-of-state abortions. This is Biden’s second executive order in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, removing the constitutional right to abortion. This most recent order attempts to safeguard access to health care, including reproductive health care services and contraception; promote safety and security of clinics, patients and providers; and protect patients’ privacy and access to accurate information.
The executive order directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary to consider action to advance access to reproductive health services, including inviting states to apply for Medicaid waivers for patients traveling out of state for reproductive health services. Additionally, it instructs the HHS secretary to take certain actions to ensure health care providers comply with federal anti-discrimination laws to ensure women receive necessary medical care. This includes providing technical assistance for providers confused about their obligations following the Supreme Court’s recent decision. The order also directs the HHS secretary to improve research and data collection on maternal health outcomes following the Dobbs ruling.
In addition to signing this second executive order that attempts to protect access to reproductive health care services, Biden has asked the U.S. Congress to codify abortion access into federal law.
What This Means
There are still many unresolved legal questions in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling. This is a rapidly developing issue, and it’s unclear what the legal and regulatory landscape will look like over the upcoming months or how it may impact employers. As such, employers should continue to monitor the situation closely. Employers concerned about how the recent executive orders and court ruling impact their organizations are encouraged to speak with legal counsel.
We will keep you apprised of any notable updates on this issue. Contact Capital Services, Inc. for more health care resources.