Biden to sign executive order protecting abortion travel

It will be the latest in a series of executive actions by the Biden administration since Roe v. Wade fell.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Wednesday aimed in part at making it easier for women who want an abortion to travel between states to gain access to the procedure.

More specifically, one of the guidelines Biden will enact will allow states that have not banned abortion to seek specific Medicaid exemptions that would effectively help them treat women who have traveled from abroad.

The order also requires healthcare providers to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws and to streamline the collection of key maternal health data and information at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The details were described by senior administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the executive order ahead of a formal announcement.

Biden, who continues to isolate himself at the White House residence following a rebound case of COVID-19, will sign the executive order while helping establish a federal task force on access to reproductive care led by Vice President Kamala Harris set up, officials said.

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But the new order falls short of what many Democratic lawmakers and pro-abortion advocacy groups have been asking of the Biden administration since the Supreme Court decision overturning the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling. A key demand was that Biden declare a public health emergency for abortion, which White House officials said would do little to free up federal funds or activate new judicial agencies.

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Wednesday’s order is the latest in a series of executive actions by the Biden administration since constitutional abortion rights were abolished in June in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

RELATED: Biden signs executive order protecting access to abortion

Separately, the Justice Department on Tuesday sued Idaho over its law criminalizing abortion, with Attorney General Merrick Garland arguing that it violates federal law.

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