Following his inauguration on Wednesday as the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden is planning to enact and repeal laws that will increase the availability of abortions.
According to NBC, the incoming president is expected to revoke the Mexico City Policy, allow the Title X Program to perform and recommend abortions, work with Congress to repeal the Hyde Amendment, and enforce the Contraception Coverage Mandate in the Affordable Care Act.
The Mexico City Policy prohibits foreign organizations from providing abortions as long as they accept U.S. funds, a policy historically enacted by Republican presidents and repealed by Democrat ones from administration to administration.
The Title X Program aids low-income patients with no insurance who seek family planning services. Under the Trump administration, organizations that provide or refer elective abortions, including Planned Parenthood, were banned from participating in the program and receiving the federal funding.
The Hyde Amendment, in place since 1976, is a rider regularly attached to Congress' spending bills, and prohibits federal tax dollars from being used to cover elective abortions. Lastly, the contraception coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act, which was scaled back during Donald Trump’s presidency, forces private insurance companies - and the employers who pay for them - to include coverage for birth control and other contraceptives in their plans.
If Biden follows through on these goals, pro-life advocates worry there will be a marked increase in abortions as the procedure becomes cheaper and more easily available. Proponents of freedom of religion are also concerned that religious employers may be forced to pay for birth control and other contraceptives against their deeply held beliefs.
But pro-choice advocates are pleased with Biden’s proposals.
“We have a ton of work to do to undo the harm over the last four years, but knowing we have champions there who understand what needs to happen in the first 100 days is tremendously exciting," said Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson.
In contrast, pro-life advocates are understandably disappointed, and concerned.
“It's certainly disheartening, but we aren't going to give up, and we will do whatever we can to stop abortion from being promoted," National Right to Life Committee President Carol Tobias said.