President’s Executive Order: Protecting Reproductive Rights
Kayton Sanchez | July 20, 2022
Amid the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the US Supreme Court has greatly restricted reproductive care in many states, effectively restricting women’s right to choose and autonomy free from government interference after nearly 50 years. In a recent tweet, President Joe Biden stated, “The Court has made it clear it will not protect the rights of women. I will.” On June 8th, 2022, President Biden signed the Executive Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services to safeguard women’s rights to reproductive healthcare, which is crucial for the justice, equality, health, and progress of the country.
The executive order takes additional action to expand access to abortion care and FDA-approved medicines in order to protect access to reproductive health care services. By updating physician obligations and rights under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, it would also ensure that all patients covered by the law receive emergency medical care (EMTALA). President Biden looks to increase access to family planning services, providers, and reversible methods of contraception such intrauterine devices (IUDs) and emergency contraception. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are mandated to provide patient access to preventative services by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. In order to deliver dependable and accurate information, HHS will also step up its educational initiatives about access to reproductive health care services. They will gather volunteer attorneys from all around the country to offer assistance for lawfully seeking reproductive healthcare by traveling to another state.
The Executive Order aims to protect patient privacy and access to accurate information, and it addresses issues including the selling of private health information, digital surveillance, and the dissemination of false information, fraudulent schemes, or deceptive practices. The Federal Trade Commission works to safeguard customers' privacy, particularly with regard to period-tracking apps. To protect sensitive information and guarantee nondiscrimination, it will take further steps in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).Medical providers are not required, or even permitted, to disclose a patient's private information to law enforcement. The Biden Administration promotes the safety of providers and third parties as well as the security of delivering reproductive health care services.
The Task Force on Reproductive Health Care Access, which will include an Attorney General to give technical support to states for legal protection while providing reproductive health care to out-of-state patients, will be led by the HHS and White House Gender Policy Council. The Executive Order expands on prior measures taken by the Biden-Harris Administration to promote reproductive rights, including providing funds, resources, and training to clinicians. With the Department of Defense, they have protected access to reproductive health care services and encouraged access to correct information, including education about one's own rights. They have also offered leave for government employees who need to travel for medical treatment.