Biden official promises 5 actions to protect abortion after Roe
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 28, 2022 / 14:25 pm
The Biden administration is taking five steps to protect access to abortion, according to Xavier Becerra, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Those steps, Becerra said on Tuesday, include increasing access to medication abortion and training health workers following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.
Becerra condemned what he called the court’s “despicable” decision that leaves abortion policy up to each individual state.
“There is no magic bullet. But if there is something we can do, we will find it and we will do it at HHS,” Becerra said June 28, referring to instructions that he received from President Joe Biden.
Becerra stressed that HHS would support Biden as he works to make available abortion pills and to enable women to travel for out-of-state abortions.
Both Biden and Becerra, who are Catholic, support abortion, in contrast with the Catholic Church’s teaching that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.”
Following the overturning of Roe, Becerra would not say Monday if he thought fewer abortions would be a good thing in America.
“I think if we leave things in the hands of a woman to make decisions for her own body, we’re going to have the best decisions made,” Becerra told EWTN correspondent Owen Jensen.
At the Tuesday news conference, Becerra outlined the HHS’ five steps to protect abortion. He began with abortion pills, which allow women to perform early abortions without leaving their homes.
The HHS, Becerra said, “will take steps to increase access” by ensuring that federally-supported programs and services provide these pills in cases of rape, incest, or to save the woman’s life, in compliance with federal law.
The department is also looking into protecting patient and provider privacy, supporting doctors’ “clinical judgment” when treating pregnant women in emergencies, and training providers on family planning and “helping patients navigate this new reality,” he continued.
Becerra added that he is directing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to also protect “family planning care,” including contraception.
When asked about the possibility of placing abortion clinics on federal land to bypass state laws or helping women travel to different states to obtain abortion, Becerra responded that “every option is on the table.”
Of all the steps, Becerra emphasized increasing access to abortion pills, calling it a “national imperative.” That included, he said, working “to ensure that states may not ban medication abortion, based on a disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about the drug’s safety and efficacy.”
Pro-life research organizations, such as the Charlotte Lozier Institute, have expressed concern about the safety of this type of abortion for women.
“How we respond will speak to how we view the rights, the dignity and the wellbeing of women everywhere,” Becerra said. “All options are on the table. We will do everything within our legal limit of the law to reach patients and support providers.”
Immediately before his remarks, HHS launched a website claiming to inform Americans about their “rights” to “reproductive health care,” including abortion. Among other things, it recommends abortion funds “if you need help paying for an abortion.”
Following Becerra’s remarks, Senator Steve Daines, founder and chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, issued a statement responding to the Biden administration’s plans regarding abortion.
“The Biden administration will stop at nothing, not even a Supreme Court ruling, to force their radical, pro-abortion agenda on all Americans,” the Republican from Montana said. “Instead of allowing Americans’ voices to be heard when it comes to abortion, President Biden wants to force states to allow dangerous DIY abortion pills and is considering plans to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion tourism across state lines and even set up abortion clinics in our national parks.”
He added: “This is outrageous. Our fight is long from over—I will continue to stand up for all life, no matter how small.”