After he has faced intense pressure from both the voters and his own party to act more aggressively on abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, President Joe Biden signed on Friday an executive order protecting abortion access.
The White House said the order would include safeguarding access to reproductive health care services – including abortion and contraception- and aims to mitigate some potential penalties women seeking abortion may face.
The executive order could enhance the Biden administration’s efforts to help people know what rights they have but will not be able to restore access to abortion in the states where the procedure has already been banned or restricted.
In the days following the Supreme Court’s ruling, many conservative states have banned or severely limited abortions activating trigger laws and more bans are expected.
Flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Biden blasted the court’s decision as an extreme and totally wrongheaded exercise in raw political power, pointing out that it is not driven by the Constitution nor by history, and urged people to vote for pro-choice candidates in November.
Urging Americans to vote in order to codify Roe as federal law, Biden underscored the need for two additional pro-choice senators that would help them change the filibuster rules in the process, pledging to veto a potential nationwide abortion ban if GOP lawmakers successfully pass such a bill in Congress.
Meanwhile, he has directed the HHS to protect access to abortion medication, emergency medical care, and contraception by taking additional action, emphasizing that now’s the moment for them to restore the rights that have been taken away from them.
At the same time, Democratic members of the House Oversight Committee opened a new probe into the potential misuse of sensitive patient data and the digital privacy practices of several major data brokers and health apps.