Joe Biden Signs Abortion Order, Says Republicans Don’t Understand Women’s Power

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that the Supreme Court and Republicans knew nothing about the power of American women when he signed a second executive order aimed at protecting abortion rights.
The order asks the federal health department to consider using Medicaid funds to facilitate out-of-state travel for abortions.
Like Mr. Biden’s first order, signed in July, it is meant to address the Supreme Court’s recent decision to end the nation’s constitutional right to abortion.

This is expected to have limited impact as Republicans in US states push through a wave of laws restricting abortion, access to medicines, and funding for such services.

“Last night they found out in Kansas”

The president’s action came a day after Kansas voters rejected one such attempt to remove abortion protection from the state constitution.

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

Biden Abortion

President Joe Biden (left) and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough attend the first meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Access to Reproductive Health Virtually in Washington on Wednesday, August 3, 2022. Source: A MONKEY / AP

“I don’t think the court has any idea about this or the Republican Party about this … how women will react. They have no idea about the power of American women,” Biden said.

“They found out last night in Kansas.”
He called the Kansas result a “decisive victory” and said voters in the state sent a “powerful message” that made it clear that politicians should not interfere with women’s fundamental rights.

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

According to Biden, the Supreme Court “practically dared women in this country to come to the ballot box and restore the right to vote” that it had just lost.

Impact of Roe v. Wade’s decision

Biden said last month that the Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 weight with conservative judges, was “out of control” after it ruled in June that Roe v. Wade was overturned, ending half a century of women’s reproductive rights protections. .

His first order, in early July, directed the federal government’s Department of Health to expand access to medical abortion and protect women traveling for abortions.
The latest actions are based on these measures. But, as in the first case, it remains unclear how these goals can be achieved.
He is asking the Department of Health and Human Services to consider using funds, including Medicaid, the federal and state insurance program it oversees, to support low-income women traveling out of state for abortions, a senior administration official said.

He is urging Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to consider inviting states to apply for Medicaid waivers for patients who cross state lines for reproductive health services, the official said, without giving further details.

What does an order entail?

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 is the result of rape or incest, making the order’s effectiveness uncertain.

It also directs the department to ensure health care providers comply with federal anti-discrimination laws when providing such services and directs it to collect data to measure the ordinance’s impact on maternal health, the official added.
The President signed the decree at the first meeting of the interdepartmental working group on access to reproductive health, which was formed in July.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who has traveled to six different states in recent weeks to convene state legislators on reproductive health issues, joined Mr. Biden in the meeting and called the abortion issue “America’s health care crisis.”

Senate Democrats have rejected Mr. Biden’s call to end the House’s “stonewall” rule, which requires 60 out of 100 senators to agree to a majority of laws allowing them to pass legislation establishing a national right to abortion.

Kansas abortion vote impacts US medium-term outlook

A surprise vote in Kansas with a large number of Republicans to drop support for a ban on abortion sent a shock across the US political landscape ahead of the November midterm elections, and Biden Democrats are now seeing a glimmer of hope that they can avoid the predicted beatings.

Ever since the Supreme Court struck down the nationwide right to terminate a pregnancy in June, U.S. conservatives have been nervously wondering if their triumphant drive to severely restrict access to the procedure — a lifelong dream — has gone too far in the run-up to interim dates.
Kansas got the answer.

The state is a Republican stronghold, but in Tuesday’s referendum, a proposal to remove the right to abortion from Kansas’ constitution was voted down 59% to 41% in an unusually high turnout.

Considering this was the first time Americans have been able to vote on the issue since the Conservative-dominated Supreme Court ruled to overturn the half-century-old Roe v. Wade ruling that enshrines abortion rights, Democrats are celebrating the result and saying about a serious adverse reaction. this is just the beginning.

Clear warning

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

Organization president Alexis McGill Johnson also urged voters to keep the momentum going until the midterms.

“We have the opportunity to defend access to abortion at the polls in November. We know that Kansas will not be our last fight or our last victory.”

Trump card

The November midterm elections, which will decide which party will control Congress during the last two years of Biden’s first term, seem difficult for Democrats, who even now control the legislature by only a few votes.

Democrats, blamed by voters for skyrocketing inflation – the highest in four decades – and widespread pessimism about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, are projected to lose at least the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate.
This would likely make Biden a lame duck, turning Washington into an even uglier political battlefield than it is today.
And abortion is not the only reason the midterm campaign will bring ideological tensions to a boil.

Donald Trump is pushing hardline right-wing candidates to promote his brand and may be setting the stage for his attempt to return to the White House in 2024.