Biden talked about Public Health Emergency For Abortion Access

President Joe Biden asked his his staff to see if he “has the authority” to declare a public health emergency to address abortion access, a move that could release additional funding and give federal health officials more power to respond to state-level abortion restrictions.


Forbes has published some key facts about this.


  1. “During a bike ride in Delaware, Biden told reporters he had asked his staff to consider the impacts of declaring an abortion-related public health emergency.
  2. While Biden signed an executive order Friday directing his administration to defend abortion patients and providers, Democratic officials and progressives have called for Biden to take broader actions, like declaring a public health emergency and allowing abortions on federal land—even in states where abortion has been banned.
  3. A public health emergency is typically declared by the federal government following a natural disaster or infectious disease outbreak, and it gives the Department of Health and Human Services additional funding and flexibility to respond to the emergency.
  4. Biden’s executive order directs HHS to protect emergency medical care for pregnant people, but declaring an emergency could also give HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra the power to ensure healthcare providers can prescribe and dispense abortion medication out-of-state to patients whose home states have restricted abortion, Center for Reproductive Rights President Nancy Northup wrote in the Washington Post.
  5. White House aides and HHS officials weighed declaring a public health emergency after the Supreme Court’s ruling, Bloomberg reported Friday, but they decided against it at the time due to questions about its effectiveness and possible legal challenges.
  6. Jennifer Klein, director of the White House Gender Policy Council, told reporters during a briefing Friday the move wasn’t “off the table,” but she noted there were only “tens of thousands of dollars” in the government’s public health emergency fund, and declaring an emergency “doesn’t release a significant amount of legal authority.”