President Biden Issues Executive Order at the First Meeting of the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access

President Biden Issues Executive Order at the First Meeting of the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access

resident Biden will issue an Executive Order on Securing Access to Reproductive and Other Healthcare Services, building on actions that the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to protect access to reproductive healthcare services and defend women’s fundamental rights.  The President kick off the Vice President’s first meeting of the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access. At the meeting, the Cabinet will discuss their progress and the path forward to address the women’s health crisis in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.


Through today’s Executive Order, the President will announce actions to:

  • Support Patients Traveling Out of State for Medical Care.  The Executive Order directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider action to advance access to reproductive healthcare services, including through Medicaid for patients who travel out of state for reproductive healthcare services.  This directive is in line with the President and the Attorney General’s clear statements on the Administration’s commitment to defending the bedrock right to travel across state lines to seek reproductive healthcare in states where those services remain legal.
  • Ensure Health Care Providers Comply with Federal Non-Discrimination Law.  The Executive Order directs the Secretary of HHS to consider all appropriate actions to ensure health care providers comply with Federal non-discrimination laws so that women receive medically necessary care without delay.  These actions could include providing technical assistance for health care providers who may be confused or unsure of their obligations in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs; convening providers to convey information on their obligations and the potential consequences of non-compliance; and issuing additional guidance or taking other appropriate action in response to any complaints or reports of non-compliance with federal non-discrimination laws.
  • Promote Research and Data Collection on Maternal Health Outcomes.  To accurately measure the impact that diminishing access to reproductive health care services has on women’s health, the Executive Order directs the Secretary of HHS to evaluate and improve research, data collection, and data analysis efforts at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on maternal health and other health outcomes.


The President will sign the Executive Order at the first meeting of the interagency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access.  After the President signs the Executive Order, Cabinet heads will report on the progress they have made in implementing the President’s July 8, 2022 Executive Order on Protecting Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services, as well as related actions to defend reproductive rights.

Established by Executive Order, the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access is co-chaired by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, and the Director of the White House Gender Policy Council, Jennifer Klein.  The Task Force coordinates and drives efforts across the Federal government to protect access to reproductive healthcare services and defend reproductive rights.

Offices across the White House – including the Office of the Vice President, the Office of White House Counsel, the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the National Security Council, the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy –also serve on the Task Force alongside the following Federal agencies:

  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of the Treasury
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Office of Personnel Management


Today’s announcements build on the actions the Biden-Harris Administration has already taken to protect access to healthcare, including abortion and contraception, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

President Biden continues to call on Congress to codify the right to abortion into federal law and has said he would support changing the filibuster rules to codify Roe v. Wade into law. The White House has also released Statements of Administration Policy supporting H.R. 8296 – Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022 and H.R. 8297 – Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022.

The Administration has also taken immediate action to:

  • Protect Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services: The President issued an Executive Order outlining actions to safeguard access to reproductive health care services, including abortion and contraception; protect the privacy of patients and their access to accurate information; promote the safety and security of patients, providers, and clinics; and coordinate the implementation of Federal efforts.
  • Defend the Right to Travel: On 6/24/22, President Biden reaffirmed the Attorney General’s statement that women must remain free to travel safely to another state to seek the care they need. President Biden committed his administration to defending “that bedrock right.” Today’s actions build upon this commitment and direct HHS to explore supports for women traveling out of state to seek medical care.
  • Protect Emergency Medical Care: DOJ filed a lawsuit seeking to enjoin Idaho’s abortion prohibition, which makes abortion a crime even when necessary to prevent serious risks to the health of pregnant patients. The suit asserts that Idaho’s law conflicts with, and is therefore preempted by, the Emergency Medical Treatment Active Labor Act (EMTALA), which requires providers to offer stabilizing treatment, including abortion services if necessary, in certain emergency situations. This litigation follows guidance issued by HHS affirming EMTALA’s requirements, as well as a letter from Secretary Becerra to providers making clear that federal law preempts state law restricting access to abortion in emergency situations. 
  • Strengthen Nondiscrimination in Healthcare.  HHS announced a proposed rule to strengthen nondiscrimination in health care. The proposed rule implements Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and affirms protections consistent with President Biden’s executive orders on nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Issue Guidance to Retail Pharmacies.  HHS issued guidance to roughly 60,000 U.S. retail pharmacies to remind them of their obligations under federal civil rights laws to ensure access to comprehensive reproductive health care services.  The guidance makes clear that as recipients of federal financial assistance, pharmacies are prohibited under law from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability in their programs and activities.  This includes supplying medications; making determinations regarding the suitability of a prescribed medication for a patient; and advising patients about medications and how to take them. 
  • Take Action Against Illegal Use and Sharing of Sensitive Data.  The Federal Trade Commission committed to fully enforcing the law against illegal use and sharing of highly sensitive data, including location and health information contained in fertility and period tracking data.  The FTC urged companies to consider that sensitive data is protected by numerous state and federal laws, claims that data is “anonymous” are often deceptive, and the FTC has a track record of cracking down on companies that misuse consumer data.
  • Protect Patient Privacy under HIPAA.  HHS issued guidance to address how the HIPAA Privacy Rule protects the privacy of individuals’ protected health information, including information related to reproductive health care.  The guidance helps ensure doctors and other medical providers and health plans know that, with limited exceptions, they are not required – and in many cases, are not permitted – to disclose patients’ private information, including to law enforcement.  HHS also issued a how-to guide for consumers on steps they can take to make sure they’re protecting their personal data on mobile apps.
  • Request Information on Data Privacy from Mobile Providers.  The Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman wrote to the top 15 mobile providers requesting information about their data retention and data privacy policies and general practices, consistent with the President’s commitment to protecting Americans’ privacy.
  • Launch a DOJ Reproductive Rights Task Force: The DOJ announced a Reproductive Rights Task Force, which will monitor and evaluate state and local actions that infringe on federal protections relating to the provision or pursuit of reproductive care, impair women’s ability to seek reproductive care where it’s legal, impair individuals’ ability to inform and counsel each other about the reproductive care that is available in other states, ban medication abortion, or impose criminal or civil liability on federal employees who provide legal reproductive health services.
  • Convene Attorneys to Defend Reproductive Rights.  The Department of Justice and the Office of White House Counsel convened more than 200 lawyers and advocates from private firms, bar associations, legal aid organizations, reproductive rights groups, and law schools across the country on Friday, July 29 for the first convening of pro-bono attorneys, as called for in the Executive Order. The convening closed with a call to action from the Second Gentleman, urging firms to commit a minimum of 500 hours to defending reproductive rights and justice.
  • Provide Access to Accurate Information and Legal Resources.  HHS launched, a website on people’s right to access reproductive health care, including birth control, abortion services, other preventive health services, and health insurance coverage.  DOJ also launched, a webpage that provides a centralized online resource of the Department’s work to protect access to reproductive healthcare services.
A member of Opus Dei among us

A member of Opus Dei among us

"every son/daughter arrives with a loaf of bread under his/her arm."

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet é member of Opus Dei.

Opus Dei, formally known as The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, is an institution of the Catholic Church which teaches that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity.

Opus Dei was founded in Spain in 1928 by Catholic priest Josemaría Escrivá and was given final Catholic Church approval in 1950 by Pope Pius XII. John Paul II made it a personal prelature in 1982 by the apostolic constitution Ut sit; that is, the jurisdiction of its bishop covers the persons in Opus Dei wherever they are, rather than geographical dioceses. While Opus Dei has met controversies, popes, cardinals, and many Catholic leaders strongly support its work and teachings.

The order has just a few hundred brothers in Australia, although not much about their careful personalities. The organization landed in Australia in 1963.

According to Josemaría Escrivá, “every son/daughter arrives with a loaf of bread under his/her arm.”

Perrottet and Opus Dei believe that the family is the foundation, the center, of our civilization. He just announced wife is pregnant with the couple’s seventh child. 

The couple is planning to have at least ten kids.

Six Barnes & Thornburg Attorneys Named To Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers And Rising Stars Lists

Six Barnes & Thornburg Attorneys Named To Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers And Rising Stars Lists

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 2020 edition of Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers magazine recently named six Barnes & Thornburg attorneys to its annual Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

The Washington, D.C., attorneys who made this year’s Super Lawyers list, including their primary practice areas as identified by Super Lawyers, are:

  • Michelle N. Bradford – Criminal Defense: White Collar; Health Care; Civil Litigation: Defense, Securities Litigation
  • Scott N. Godes – Insurance Coverage; Government Contracts
  • Roscoe C. Howard, Jr. – Criminal Defense: White Collar; General Litigation; Criminal Defense
  • William R. (Billy) Martin – Criminal Defense: White Collar; Criminal Defense; Business Litigation
  • James E. Van Horn – Bankruptcy: Business

Selected for the Rising Stars list is:

  • Nicholas A. Galbraith – International

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

With more than 600 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Atlanta, California, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minneapolis, Ohio, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, Texas and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit us online at or on Twitter @BTLawNews.

Barnes & Thornburg Attorneys Named To ‘Best Lawyers In Dallas’ List By D Magazine

Barnes & Thornburg Attorneys Named To ‘Best Lawyers In Dallas’ List By D Magazine

DALLAS – D Magazine, a major Dallas publication, has named Barnes & Thornburg attorneys Victor Vital and Reid Johnson to its 2020 “Best Lawyers in Dallas” list.

Victor Vital, a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department, was recognized in the area of Business and Commercial Litigation, while Reid Johnson, an associate in the Corporate Department, was chosen for his work in Corporate Law: Private Equity. 

D Magazine’s 2020 edition highlighted 714 attorneys encompassing 40 legal categories, as selected by fellow members of the Texas bar and the publication’s editors.  

In more than two decades of practice, Vital is a top trial lawyer who has tried over 100 cases in matters ranging from contract disputes and business tort cases, to patent litigation, unfair competition and consumer fraud, to name just a few. His experience and ability to quickly grasp complex subjects have made him a go-to attorney for high-stakes trial cases. 

Johnson advises clients on transactions at virtually every stage of development, be it fund formation, equity and debt financing, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, reorganizations, or recapitalizations. His experience cuts across a variety of industries, including private equity, oil and gas, healthcare, finance, marketing, real estate, and manufacturing. 

With more than 600 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Atlanta, California, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minneapolis, Ohio, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, Texas and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit us online at or on Twitter @BTLawNews.

Sierra Club Lawsuit Challenges Construction of Permian Highway Fracked Gas Pipeline

Sierra Club Lawsuit Challenges Construction of Permian Highway Fracked Gas Pipeline

Austin, TX — The Sierra Club filed a lawsuit today against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for permitting the ongoing construction of the 428-mile Permian Highway fracked gas pipeline, despite a federal court order vacating the nationwide permit on which the pipeline’s 449 water crossings are based, and for not performing the environmental review required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 

The Permian Highway Pipeline would carry fracked gas across Texas from the Permian Basin, through the Texas Hill Country, to an end point in Colorado County. The Army Corps issued an approval for the pipeline using a fast-tracked process called Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP12). This nationwide permit was vacated by a federal judge earlier this month, leaving the pipeline without valid verifications for dredge and fill activities. The Sierra Club’s lawsuit, filed today in the U.S. District Court Western District of Texas, argues that the Army Corps is violating the law by allowing the construction in rivers and streams to continue. In addition to the vacatur of NWP12, the suit argues that the Corps also failed to comply with NEPA when it approved the project. 

Despite not having all of the necessary permits, Permian Highway Pipeline LLC  has already begun construction on Permian Highway. Earlier this month, the company spilled drilling fluid into local water wells during construction, contaminating local residents’ drinking water. In response to the spill, Hays County revoked permits for the pipeline.

“As someone who has property and lives downstream on one of the major rivers crossed by the route of PHP, I am concerned about the potential negative impacts from both construction and operation of a high volume, high pressure fracked gas transportation pipeline. The clear water rivers, springs and aquifers are irreplaceable assets of the Hill Country prized by residents and all Texans,” said Hill Country resident John Watson. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, by using the Nationwide Permit 12 process to allow crossing our rivers and streams, deprived the impacted people to even have a voice. Opposition to this route, not attempted by any other pipeline coming out of the Permian Basin, is widespread. It is time for those voices and concerns to get a fair hearing.”

“If completed, the Permian Highway Pipeline could devastate communities, clean water, and wildlife along the route, and the Army Corps can’t just ignore these impacts,” said Sierra Club Senior Campaign Representative Roddy Hughes. “The fact that there’s already been a spill into the local water supply in the early stages of construction makes it more obvious than ever that the Corps must not allow the continuing construction of this dirty fracked gas pipeline without  analysis of its environmental impacts and full local public participation in the permitting process.” 

“It is outrageous that the Corps approved this project without public notice or opportunity to comment on their permits,” said Sierra Club attorney Rebecca McCreary.  “Nationwide Permit 12 allows for no public hearings or participation by the local communities before the Corps permits construction to start, nor is there public notice or comment on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permits allowing harm to the endangered species along the route. The Corps should stop this project immediately.” 

Sierra Club is represented by the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program and local counsel Mary Whittle and Mark Guerrero of Guerrero & Whittle, PLLC