President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday aimed at guaranteeing abortions for women who have to travel across state lines, directing the federal government to use taxpayer dollars to facilitate those abortions.
Biden said, "Secretary Becerra is going to work with states through the Medicaid to allow them to provide reproductive health care for women who live in states where abortions are being banned."
The White House said the states that haven't banned abortion will be able to seek Medicaid waivers for women seeking out-of-state abortions.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during her Wednesday briefing, "It paves the way for Medicaid to pay for abortions for women having to travel out of state."
Jean-Pierre also said the waivers would pay for the procedures.
"We don't have the details to share today. But HHS will soon have more on what a waiver could look like in the timeline as you're asking me and — which would generally target, again, low-income women served by Medicaid and help cover certain costs," she explained.
The details about the order are still being worked out. Plus, the administration faces a challenging legal landscape because it's illegal to use federal funding to pay for abortions unless the woman's life is in danger or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
The president signed the order from the White House residence, where he continues to isolate with a rebound case of COVID-19. He participated virtually in a meeting led by Vice President Kamala Harris.
On the pro-life side, groups are working toward goals of their own, like providing life-saving aid through women's clinics. And they're working state by state to ensure the right to life for the unborn.
The March for Life tweeted, "The Dobbs decision corrected the nearly half-century old lie that the U.S. Constitution contained within it a right to abortion. Now the pro-life movement must take the next steps in ensuring the constitutional right to life for all human beings - born and unborn - under the law."
The Dobbs decision corrected the nearly half-century old lie that the U.S. Constitution contained within it a right to abortion. Now the pro-life movement must take the next steps in ensuring the constitutional right to life for all human beings - born and unborn - under the law.
— March for Life (@March_for_Life) August 4, 2022
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Biden administration's Department of Justice filed a lawsuit challenging Idaho's law banning most abortions, which is set to take effect on Aug 25.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland claims the measure violates federal law and says it stands in the way of "providing stabilizing care and treatment to anyone who needs it."
Gov. Brad Little (R-ID) said the U.S. Supreme Court authorized states to regulate abortion, "end of story." Little says he would work with the Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden to defend the law.
"The U.S. Justice Department's interference with Idaho's pro-life law is another example of Biden overreaching yet again," Little said in a statement. "We are proud that we have led the country in protecting preborn lives."
Wasden noted that the lawsuit was "politically motivated," adding that the Justice Department should have contacted Idaho earlier to address the issue.
"Instead of complying with the requirements of this provision," Wasden said of EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act), "or even attempting to engage Idaho in a meaningful dialogue on the issue, the federal government has chosen to waste taxpayer dollars on an unnecessary lawsuit."
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