(DCWatchdog.com) – Angering many conservatives and the pro-life movement, the administration of President Joe Biden has moved to protect women seeking to abort their unborn children with a new regulation reducing the powers of law enforcement and state officials.
On Wednesday, Biden’s White House proposed a new federal rule to limit the collection of medical records in cases where women are investigated for leaving their home states to have abortions elsewhere.
The proposal comes after a Texas-based US judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the FDA’s 2000 approval of the abortion-inducing pill mifepristone. As a result of his order, the abortion drug might be pulled off the market.
The newly proposed rule of the White House would ban healthcare entities in states where abortion is legal from sharing personal medical records with authorities “for investigations related to reproductive care.”
The report notes that federal privacy laws protect medical records, but a court order can force health providers and insurers to turn them over to law enforcement.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) proposes the new rule on behalf of the Biden administration.
The director of the DHHS civil rights office, Melanie Fontes Rainer, said doctors nationwide had spoken out about their worries about how to protect “that medical information from law enforcement officials.”
“We’ve had many conversations with providers, major medical associations and patient advocates about what they’re seeing on the ground and how the federal government can be helpful in ensuring medical records are kept private,” Rainer declared in a statement.
AP notes that women “living a stretch of Southern and Midwestern states,” where abortion was outlawed after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, now have to “travel hours” to have abortions legally in other states.
Two White House sources revealed the new medical records rule was to be discussed at a meeting later on Wednesday involving Vice President Kamala Harris, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
The American public can weigh in on the proposed rule for 60 days.
Biden’s Cabinet was also expected to “strategize” on how to react to state laws banning abortion and to Texas Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s order to stop the sales of the abortion pill mifepristone.
The US Justice Department appealed Kacsmaryk’s ruling on Monday, but the sales of mifepristone nationwide would be stopped by Friday unless another court intervenes.
“For months, the White House has struggled to counter the abortion restrictions Republican-led states have rolled out since the US Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to the medical procedure last June,” the Associated Press comments.
“Many abortion clinics, some offering medication-only abortions, have relocated to Democrat-leaning states, preserving some sort of access for millions of women around the country. Now, the Biden administration is staring down a challenge to abortion access that could alter how women get abortions nationwide,” the AP report says further.
The White House on Wednesday proposed a new federal rule to limit how law enforcement and state officials collect medical records if they investigate women who flee their home states to seek abortions elsewhere. https://t.co/lPrebSEBDd
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) April 12, 2023