Major Memorandum for Women’s Healthcare Rights


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President Biden signing executive orders in the Oval Office

Vivi Melkonian, Co-Opinion Editor

On his eighth day in office, President Joe Biden signed a memorandum that effectively reversed Former President Donald Trump’s 2017 memorandum further restricting abortion access. The presidential memorandum will expand women’s access to reproductive healthcare both domestically and abroad. The now repealed memorandum made government funding for health organizations worldwide from the US contingent on these organizations agreeing not to promote or perform abortions. 

Throughout Trump’s tenure in office, he repeatedly promoted ideology and legislation aimed at restricting women’s access to abortion, thus depriving them of their reproductive rights. According to CNN, the Trump administration had taken an “unprecedented” number of restrictions on abortion. He continually made baseless and false claims about abortion during late term pregnancy, a rhetorical strategy that was subsequently utilized by right wing politicians on the state level. In 2018 and 2019, there was a slew of extremely harsh restrictions on abortion that stripped women of their reproductive rights and body autonomy in Republican-run states. 

That being said, the Biden administration’s quick action towards giving women reproductive autonomy is a stark contrast from the previous administration’s low tolerance or dedication to abortion access for all. This projects the message that the Biden administration is clearly focused on granting women bodily autonomy and furthering the access to abortion and reproductive healthcare. Biden’s memorandum has to do with a federally funded program, known as Title X, which allows low-income individuals to receive competent access to information regarding family planning and reproductive health options. In other words, it is useful for more than just abortion access. 

I personally find this act by the Biden administration remarkable and the start of a new age for tolerance and promotion of women’s rights. I don’t believe that abortion belongs anywhere near legislation. Abortion should not be a major point on any politician’s agenda because it is a between a woman, her doctor and whatever being she chooses to believe in. The entanglement regarding discussion of abortion and biblical laws disregards a distinct separation of Church and State.  

President Biden is a devout Catholic who remains a loyal member of the Church and has used his religion as a guidepost throughout his career, without letting his personal religious beliefs infiltrate into his legislative rulings. Harpers Bazaar reports that while Biden stated in his book “Promises to Keep” that he is “personally opposed to abortion,” he does not believe it is his right to force his views upon the rest of society. He publicly spread the message that, “Reproductive rights are constitutional rights, [and] every woman should have that right.” This goes to show that it is possible to have private and personal opinions, but still agree that women should have the right to decide what happens to their bodies, rather than an insurmountably personal decision be left in the hands of legislators. One can only hope that this is the beginning of  a progressive term and that Biden will continue to protect the rights of women and men alike.