Joe Biden’s Plan for Abortion Rights

Joe Biden’s Plan for Abortion Rights

Image from: Maria Oswalt/Unsplash

Last Thursday, President Joe Biden signed a presidential memorandum to revoke some of the restrictions the Trump administration had exerted on abortion rights.

During his campaign, Biden vowed to defend women’s reproductive rights. As stated by his campaign website, Biden’s plans include restoring federal funding to Planned Parenthood, block state laws violating Roe v. Wade, and build on the Affordable Care Act to ensure “access to free preventive care, including contraception.”

However, accomplishing significant and permanent change will be harder than just a presidential memorandum. With only a close majority on both Senate and the House, Biden is bound to face many challenges in his attempt to allow equitable access to contraceptives and abortion care.


Title X

Biden’s memorandum has also begun undoing some of the other restrictions placed on abortions domestically. 

Title X Family Planning Program grants access to preventive health services, such as access to counseling, pregnancy diagnosis, and cancer screenings. But over the past few years, the Trump administration placed restrictions on Title X institutions, blocking any institutions receiving funding under Title X from providing abortion services.

Many clinics had to withdraw from Title X, along with six states that withdrew completely. According to Physicians for Reproductive Health, “without Title X services, many patients, especially patients with low-income, would lose access [to] important family planning-related health care services. The majority of Title X patients are people of color who already have less access to health care.”

Getting rid of these restrictions and reinstating funding to those clinics and organizations will most likely take months. But it is just the first step to expand access to abortion services nationally. 


The Hyde Amendment

In 1976, just three years after Roe v. Wade was passed, the Hyde Amendment passed Congress, blocking federal Medicaid funding for abortions. Ever since Congress has passed similar restrictions to other federal programs, of which over 50 million Americans depend on for healthcare or insurance. 

According to the ACLU, “In addition to low-income women on Medicaid, Native American women, federal employees and their dependents, Peace Corps volunteers, low-income residents of Washington, D.C., military personnel and their dependents, and federal prisoners have all been denied abortion coverage in their health care.”

It wasn’t until 2019 when Biden withdrew his support for the amendment, stating “If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code,” in a tweet

Biden will first need to repeal this amendment if he wants to go through with his public health care option. 

Under his health care plan, the Affordable Care Act will ensure funding and access to abortion services nationally. “The accommodation will allow women at these organizations to access contraceptive coverage, not through their employer-provided plan, but instead through their insurance company or a third-party administrator,” as stated on his website. 

Repealing this amendment will prove itself to be extremely tricky in the upcoming months. With the extremely narrow majority Democrats have in Congress, it will have a hard time overcoming the filibuster.

Post a Comment