President Biden intends to sign an executive order on Wednesday aimed at helping Americans cross state lines for abortions, the White House said. It would be his second order intended to preserve abortion access after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June.
Both orders, however, are short on specifics, instead directing the Department of Health and Human Services to sort out how the policies would work. Last month, the president signed an order intended to ensure access to abortion medication and emergency contraception.
Wednesday’s order asks the department’s secretary, Xavier Becerra, to “consider action to advance access” to abortion, including through Medicaid, for those who travel out of state, the White House said in a news release. It also calls for Mr. Becerra to “consider all appropriate actions” to ensure health care providers comply with federal nondiscrimination laws, and promote research on maternal health.
The order comes after voters in Kansas on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected an amendment that would have erased abortion rights from its state constitution. Also on Tuesday, the Biden administration sued Idaho over its strict new law that the Justice Department said would inhibit emergency room doctors from performing abortions that are necessary for women facing medical emergencies.