By RICHIE MALOUF | THE CENTER SQUARE
President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday to help cover travel expenses for women seeking an abortion.
In a meeting with the administration’s newly formed Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access Wednesday, Biden signed the order which directed the Health and Human Services Department to consider using funds, including Medicaid, to support women traveling out of state for abortion services.
“Today’s Executive Order builds on the first Executive Order that I signed last month to safeguard access to health care – including abortion care – that was ripped away,” Biden said on Twitter. “I told you I wouldn’t back down. That hasn’t changed.”
The order also directed the department to ensure healthcare providers comply with federal non-discrimination laws when offering such services and ordered it to collect data to measure the impact of the ruling on maternal health.
Critics quickly pushed back on the order.
“Our country is in a recession, Americans can’t afford gas or groceries, and yet all Joe Biden cares about is pushing his radical and unpopular late-term abortion agenda,” said Ronna McDaniel, Republican National Committee Chairwoman. “Republicans will continue to fight for commonsense pro-life protections and the pocketbook issues that families care about.”
Critics also argued that the executive order violates the Hyde Amendment, legislation prohibiting any federal funds from being used on abortion, except when a mother’s life is at risk.
“Is no one else concerned that Biden’s priority is to ensure children are dead instead of fed?” Students for Life said in a statement after the order was announced. “Where is the executive order on baby formula?”
The executive order comes a day after voters in Kansas voted to stop an amendment to the state constitution allowing further abortion restrictions in the state.
“I don’t think the Supreme Court or for that matter Congressional Republicans – who for decades have pushed their extremist agenda – have a clue about the power of American women,” Biden said on Twitter. “Last night in Kansas they found out.”