President Biden will sign an executive order Friday ordering agencies to find ways to expand access to contraception. The policy move coincides with the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that overturned the broad right to abortion in Roe v. Wade.
Mr. Biden will address the court’s action, known as the “Dobbs” decision, and new state limits on abortion at a political event with Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday.
“Contraception is an essential component of reproductive health care that has only become more important in the wake of Dobbs and the ensuing crisis in women’s access to health care,” the White House said in a fact sheet.
Under the order, the Department of Health and Human Services must draft guidance that expands the range of Food and Drug Administration-approved or cleared contraceptives that must be covered without out-of-pocket costs. Obamacare guaranteed no-cost coverage, but insurers must cover on product per category of contraceptive instead of a full range.
HHS and the Treasury and Labor departments will be tasked with finding ways to expand access to over-the-counter contraception, including emergency contraceptives such as Plan B, without a prescription.
HHS is also directed to consider new family-planning services under Medicaid and ways to strengthen contraception coverage under Medicare Part D plans, notably for women of reproductive age with disabilities.
The order also calls for expanded contraceptive coverage for veterans, college students and persons who rely on Title X family planning clinics.
The White House said the executive order is Mr. Biden’s third on reproductive health care since the Supreme Court overturned Roe in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision.
The ruling outraged Mr. Biden and his Democratic allies, but they’ve used the decision as a political weapon against Republicans, saying many Americans do not agree with strict limits on abortion and the GOP is alienating young and female voters.
Major pro-choice groups, including EMILYs List, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, on Thursday said they endorsed Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris for reelection.
“Since the Dobbs decision last summer, we have seen the horrifying impact that the extreme MAGA agenda has on women’s health. MAGA Republicans’ promising a national abortion ban makes reelecting President Biden and Vice President Harris all the more important,” Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said.
A Gallup poll released earlier this month found 61% of Americans think the high court’s decision last year to overturn federally protected abortion and return the matter to the states was “a bad thing.”
The poll also found the percentage of Americans who want abortion banned in all circumstances has dwindled to 13%, while a record-high 69% say abortion should be legal in the first trimester.
Yet Republicans say Democrats are out of step with the public in pushing abortion-on-demand policies and should be ready to approve reasonable limits on the procedure.
Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, and about 20 GOP colleagues introduced a resolution celebrating the Dobbs decision.
“As we mark this anniversary, I want to reaffirm my commitment to protecting the unborn and supporting families,” Mr. Rubio said. “There are still many states where abortion is legal, and we must continue to work to protect life across our country. I know that there is still more work to be done, but I am confident that we will continue to make progress in the fight for life.”
• Susan Ferrechio contributed to this report.
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