Biden Ends Gag Rule on Abortion, Reopens Health Insurance Marketplace

Today’s executive orders expand Americans’ access to health care.

Doug Mills/CNP/Zuma

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Another day, another spate of executive orders from President Biden aimed at undoing conservative Trump-era policies. Today, Biden signed two orders expanding access to the Affordable Care Act and rolling back restrictions on reproductive rights.

The first order reopens the Open Enrollment Period from February 15 to May 15, giving Americans in need of health insurance three months to sign up for a plan on the Healthcare.gov marketplace. It also directs federal agencies to reexamine policies that made it harder for people to access health care—of which Trump instituted many.

The second order repeals the Mexico City Policy, also known as the global gag rule, which prevents family planning groups abroad that receive US aid from performing, facilitating, or discussing abortions abortions. As Vox explains, every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has instated this rule, and every Democratic president has repealed it. Trump’s version went a step further, barring any foreign organization that receives US aid—not just family planning organizations—from discussing abortion. 

These actions, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a press conference this afternoon, “build on the actions the president has taken to put equity at the heart of his administration’s response to COVID-19.”

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