Biden will sign an executive order protecting access to abortion after the SCOTUS decision that overturned Roe v.  Wade

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will direct the federal government on Friday to take action to protect access to abortion and other reproductive services following the recent Supreme Court decision that reversed Roe v. Wade.

Biden will sign an executive order directing the Department of Health and Human Services to protect and expand access to abortion care, including access to medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration as safe and effective for more than 20 years.

The order directs the department to take additional steps to expand access to reproductive health services, including family planning services and providers, emergency contraception, and long-acting reversible contraception, such as intrauterine devices, according to a fact sheet. distributed by the White House.

The administration also promises to increase public outreach and education about access to reproductive health care services, including abortion, and take steps to ensure the safety of patients and providers, including sending mobile clinics to borders. to provide care to out-of-state patients. patients

Biden’s order falls short on some of the measures activists have been urging the administration to takesuch as declaring a public health emergency to make federal funds and other resources available for reproductive health care and leasing federal property to abortion providers.

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But Biden will call for the creation of a task force on access to reproductive health care and seek to provide some protection for women who travel across state lines to access clinical abortion services.

The attorney general’s office will be directed to provide assistance to states that offer legal protection to out-of-state health care providers and patients. The Attorney General and the White House Counsel’s Office will also convene private attorneys offering pro bono legal services, as well as bar associations and public interest groups, to encourage legal representation for patients, providers and other groups providing services. reproductive.

Biden has been under pressure to protect right to abortion since the Supreme Court ruling two weeks ago that overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had established the constitutional right to abortion.

Biden called the ruling “outrageous” and “destabilizing” and said last week that Congress must overturn it by including Roe v. Wade in federal law. He also said that he supports change the filibuster rules in the Senate to facilitate the codification of abortion rights and privacy in federal law.

Sixty votes are needed in the Senate to pass most laws due to filibuster. Changing the rules would allow senators to convert Roe v. Wade into law with a simple majority. But getting rid of the filibuster is up to the Senate, and right now there aren’t enough votes to make that happen.

In the meantime, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra has said federal officials are working to increase access to medical abortion in limited circumstances, ensure providers have adequate training and resources, and direct the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid to take legal action to protect abortion care. Family planning.

Biden’s order directs Becerra to file a report in 30 days on protecting access to abortion and contraceptive medications and ensuring women have access to emergency medical care.

Michael Collins covers the White House. Follow him on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Roe v. Wade: Biden will sign executive order protecting access to abortion

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