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Federal Briefs

Bioethics in Law & Culture                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Spring  2021     vol. 4  issue  2

Federal Government activity from January 1, 2021 – March 31, 2021 

Ana Brennan, J.D.

Executive Actions:


Mexico City Policy

January 21, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order reversing the Mexico City policy, permitting U.S. aid money once again to fund groups that provide or promote abortion around the globe.

Covid-19 Relief

President Biden's relief plan included $467.8 billion subsidize abortion and the abortion industry.

Title X Funding

On April 14, 2021, the Biden Administration published a proposal to once again allow for federal funding of providers who refer for abortion.

Chemical Abortions

On April 13, 2021, the FDA announced thy would stop enforcing a rule that required an in-person appointment before receiving the pills necessary to induce a chemical abortion. Women can now receive the abortion pills in the mail without a doctor's visit.


Fetal Tissue Experimentation

On April 16, 2021, The National Institutes of Health removed restrictions put in place by the Trump administration, now allowing research using fetal tissue.

The Hyde Amendment

Both President Biden and Democrats in Congress have indicated that they will attack the Hyde Amendment next, which would force Americans to pay for abortions under Medicaid.



1.  On January 28, 2021, Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) reintroduced "The Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act."

45 co-sponsors. Co-sponsors of the legislation include Senators Barrasso (R-WY), Blackburn (R-TN), Blunt (R-MO), Boozman (R-AR), Braun (R-IN), Burr (R-NC), Cassidy (R-LA), Cornyn (R-TX), Cotton (R-AR), Cramer (R-ND), Crapo (R-ID), Cruz (R-TX), Daines (R-MT), Ernst (R-IA), Fischer (R-NE), Graham (R-SC), Grassley (R-IA), Hagerty (R-TN), Hawley (R-MO), Hoeven (R-ND), Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Inhofe (R-OK), Johnson (R-WI), Kennedy (R-LA), Lankford (R-OK), Lee (R-UT), Lummis (R-WY),  Marshall (R-KS), McConnell (R-KY), Moran (R-KS), Paul (R-KY), Portman (R-OH), Risch (R-ID), Rounds (R-SD), Romney (R-UT), Rubio (R-FL), Scott (R-FL), Scott (R-SC), Shelby (R-AL), Sullivan (R-AK), Thune (R-SD), Tillis (R-NC), Toomey (R-PA), Wicker (R-MS), and Young (R-IN). 

On February 5, 2021, the Senate rejected the “Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act.” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) attempted to add the measure to a budget resolution bill. Democrats Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Bob Casey (PA) joined Republicans in the 52-48 vote to advance the bill, but the measure still failed to reach the necessary 60-vote threshold.



2.  On March 25, 202, Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced S.1021 - A bill to ensure affordable abortion coverage and care for every person, and for other purposes. The bill has been referred to committee.

House of Representatives

1.   Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is refusing to allow a vote on "The Born-Alive Survivors Act," H.R. 619. House Republicans can force a vote by use of a discharge petition, which requires the signatures of 218 Representatives.

2.  On March 26, 2021 Barbara Lee (D-CA-13) introduced H.R.2234 - To ensure affordable abortion coverage and care for every person, and for other purposes. The bill has been referred to committee.

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