- President Joe Biden will end the Mexico City policy, which prohibits foreign nongovernmental groups from using federal funds for abortions, as part of his healthcare executive actions on Thursday.
- The Mexico City policy has remained highly partisan over the years, and with federal funding for abortions being banned under Trump, it will take time for abortion providers to rejoin the network.
- Biden also supports ending the Hyde Amendment, but doing so requires congressional action and is unlikely to pass through Republican opposition.
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As part of a series of executive actions on healthcare President Joe Biden will take on Thursday, he will end a policy that prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions, reversing his predecessor’s actions.
The White House said that Biden will “protect and expand access to comprehensive reproductive health care,” on Thursday, and one of the ways he plans to do so is by reversing the Mexico City policy, which bars foreign non-governmental groups that receive federal funding from providing abortions. Biden also said during his campaign that he supports ending the Hyde Amendment in spending bills, which bars federal funds from being used for abortions overall.
The Mexico City policy has been a highly partisan issue over the years, and has generally been ended under Democratic leadership and reinstated under Republican leadership. Under former President Donald Trump, the policy — which he renamed Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance — encompassed nearly $7.3 million in fiscal year 2020 to use toward areas such as maternal and child health, malaria, and nutrition, but did not allow those funds to go toward abortion, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Once Biden signs the order, the Dept. of Health and Human Services could announce a rule reflecting the policy change within 30 days, but it would take longer for providers to reapply and rejoin their state’s networks after leaving under Trump’s policy.
“It won’t just be like flipping a switch to get all the providers of the Title X program back in,” Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson told reporters on Tuesday.
While the Mexico City policy can be ended through an executive order, ending the Hyde Amendment requires congressional approval, which is unlikely given that the majority of Republicans will oppose it.
Along with reversing rules on abortion, Biden also plans on expanding enrollment efforts for the Affordable Care Act, reversing Trump’s actions on reducing healthcare spending.