Biden made his announcement virtually at the first meeting of the multi-agency task force on access to reproductive health as he deals with a second case of Covid-19 and after testing positive again on Wednesday morning.
Also in attendance were Vice President Kamala Harris, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Health Secretary Xavier Becerra, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Majorcas, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough.
The failed Kansas amendment came as the Biden administration is taking steps to protect pregnant women who travel seeking access to reproductive health services. Biden signed the executive order at a meeting Wednesday that will look at ways to protect pregnant women who have to travel out of state for an abortion if their state prohibits it.
The order directs Becerra to work with states to help people who need to travel out of state for reproductive health. It also directs HHS to explore the possibility of providing Medicare waivers for abortion procedures for pregnant women who need to travel out of state for the procedure.
“We know there is a need for clarity around the rights of individuals and states right now,” Harris said. “We know there are concerns about what federal resource support is available to the various women’s rights states and what our administration can do about it.”
Speaking about Tuesday’s election, Harris said, “The people of Kansas spoke yesterday, and they spoke loud and clear. They said it was not a partisan issue. The women of America should not be subject to partisan debates or points of view.”
“The people of Kansas have spoken out, and so it’s about defending the basic principles of liberty and liberty in America,” Harris added. “And they’ve said loudly that they trust women to make decisions about their lives and their bodies.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also addressed the vote in Kansas during her daily briefing.
“Over the past 24 hours we have seen great momentum in our fight to rebuild caviar,she said. “Americans in Kansas came to challenge views that would set the country back, with fewer rights and politicians invading our most personal decisions, and they won.”
The state’s rejection of the amendment was something of an unfortunate victory for the abortion rights activists. Kansas is the state that voted for Donald Trump twice, and the number of registered Republicans outnumbers Democrats by almost 2 to 1.
“The President has made it clear that in order to protect our rights or codify Caviarwe need to make sure our voices are heard,” said Jean-Pierre. “That’s what you saw, you saw the strength of the American people last night. This is incredibly important. What we saw last night was not expected.”
The administration and abortion rights activists also filed lawsuits in Florida and Idaho on Tuesday challenging restrictive anti-abortion laws in their respective states.
Religious groups court in Florida, arguing that the state’s 15-week ban on abortion violates constitutional rights to free speech, freedom of religion, and separation of state and church.
The Department of Justice is litigating in Idaho, claiming that state law violates federal law requiring doctors to provide pregnant women with medically necessary treatment, including abortion.
There were also a couple of victories for both sides in the dispute. this week in Michigan and Kentucky. On Monday, a Michigan judge barred the state from enforcing a more than 90-year-old book law banning abortion. On the same day, in just a few southern states, a Kentucky court reinstated a near-complete ban on abortion.
“Ultimately, Congress must codify the protection Caviar as federal law,” Biden said Wednesday. “And if Congress does not act, the people of this country must elect senators and representatives who will restore Caviar and will protect the right to privacy, liberty and equality.”