Joe Biden signs abortion order, says Republicans have no idea about women’s power

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday the Supreme Court and Republicans had no idea the power of American women as he signed a second executive order aimed at protecting the right to abortion.
The order directs the federal Department of Health to consider authorizing the use of Medicaid funds to help facilitate out-of-state travel for abortions.
Like Mr. Biden’s first order signed in July, it aims to respond to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to end the nation’s constitutional right to abortion.

It is expected to have limited impact as Republicans in US states push a wave of laws restricting abortion, access to drugs and funding for these services.

“Last night in Kansas they found out”

The president’s actions come a day after Kansas voters rejected such an effort to remove abortion protections from the state constitution.

The vote was a resounding victory for the abortion rights movement in the first national electoral test since the Supreme Court ruling.

Biden Abortion

President Joe Biden, left, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough virtually attend the first meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Access to Reproductive Health Care in Washington on Wednesday, August 3, 2022. Source: AAP / PA

“I don’t think the court has any idea for that matter or the Republican Party for that matter… how women are going to react. They have no idea of ​​the power of American women,” Mr Biden said.

“Last night in Kansas, they found out.”
He called the Kansas result a “decisive victory” and said voters in the state sent a “strong signal” that politicians should not interfere with women’s human rights.

“This fight is not over and we saw it last night in Kansas,” Biden said.

The Supreme Court “virtually challenged the women of this country to go to the polls and restore the right to choose,” which it had just taken away, Biden said.

Impact of the Roe vs. Wade decision

Last month, Biden said the Supreme Court, which is weighted 6-3 with conservative justices, was ‘out of control’ after deciding in June to overturn Roe v Wade, ending a half-century of protection. women’s reproductive rights.

Its first order in early July directed the federal government’s Department of Health to expand access to medical abortion and ensure that women who travel for abortions are protected.
The last action builds on these measurements. But like the first, it remains vague on how these goals can be achieved.
He asks the Department of Health and Human Services to consider using funds, including Medicaid, the federally and state-funded insurance program it oversees, to support low-income women. traveling out of state for abortion services, a senior administration official said.

It calls on Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to consider inviting states to request Medicaid waivers when treating patients who cross state lines for reproductive health services, said the manager, without giving further details.

What does the order involve?

The Hyde Amendment, a congressional measure, states that Medicaid will not pay for an abortion unless the woman’s life is in danger or the pregnancy results from rape or incest, making the effectiveness of prescription uncertain.

It also directs the department to ensure that health care providers follow federal nondiscrimination laws when providing such services and directs it to collect data to measure the decision’s impact on health. kindergarten, the official added.
The president signed the order during the first meeting of the interagency working group on access to reproductive health care, which was formed in July.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who has traveled to six different states to convene state lawmakers on reproductive health care protections in recent weeks, joined Mr. Biden for the meeting and called the issue the abortion of “health crisis in America”.

Senate Democrats have rejected Mr Biden’s call to lift the chamber’s ‘filibuster’ rule requiring 60 of 100 senators to agree on most laws to allow them to pass legislation establishing a national right to abortion.

Kansas abortion vote upends U.S. midterm outlook

The surprise vote in Kansas with a strong Republican majority to reject a push to ban abortion sent shock waves through the American political landscape ahead of November’s midterm elections, Democrats under Mr. Biden now seeing a glimmer of hope that they could avoid their planned beating.

Since the Supreme Court struck down the nation’s right to terminate a pregnancy in June, American conservatives have nervously wondered if their triumphant push to severely restrict access to the procedure — a decades-long dream — has gone too far in the process. perspective of the exams.
In Kansas, they got an answer.

The state is a Republican stronghold, but in Tuesday’s referendum, an attempt to remove the right to abortion from the Kansas constitution was defeated by 59 to 41 percent, with an unusually high turnout.

Given that this was the first time Americans had had a chance to vote on the issue since the conservative-dominated Supreme Court decided to overturn the half-century-old Roe v Wade decision enshrining abortion rights, Democrats celebrate the result — and say a major backlash is just beginning.

Clear warning

Planned Parenthood, which lobbies for abortion access, called the Kansas vote “a clear warning to anti-abortion politicians.”

The organization’s president, Alexis McGill Johnson, also called on voters to keep the momentum going midterm.

“We have an opportunity to protect abortion access at the polls in November. We know Kansas won’t be our last fight or our last win.”

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November’s midterm elections, which will decide which party controls Congress for the final two years of Mr. Biden’s first term, promise to be tough for Democrats who still control the legislature by just a few votes.

Blamed by voters for soaring inflation — to its highest level in four decades — and widespread pessimism in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrats are set to lose at least the House of Representatives and maybe the Senate.
That would likely make Mr. Biden a lame duck, turning Washington into an even uglier political battleground than it is today.
And abortion isn’t the only reason the midterm campaign will boil over ideological tensions.

Donald Trump is pushing hard-right candidates to bolster his brand and perhaps set the stage for his own bid to return to the White House in 2024.