Under pressure, Biden will sign an order on access to abortion

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will take executive action Friday to protect access to abortionaccording to three people familiar with the matter, as he faces mounting pressure from Democrats to be more forceful on the issue after the Supreme Court terminated a constitutional right to the procedure two weeks ago.

Biden will speak Friday morning “on protecting access to reproductive health care services,” the sources said. The actions she was expected to describe are intended to try to mitigate some of the potential penalties that women seeking an abortion may face after the ruling, but have limited ability to safeguard abortion access across the country. Biden is expected to formalize instructions to the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to reject efforts to limit women’s ability to access federally approved abortion medications or to travel across state lines to access them. to clinical abortion services. The people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Biden’s actions before they were officially announced.

Biden’s executive order will also direct agencies to work to educate medical providers and insurers about how and when they should share privileged patient information with authorities, an effort to protect women who seek or use abortion services. It will also ask the Federal Trade Commission to take steps to protect the privacy of those seeking reproductive care information online.

The order, which comes two weeks after the June 24 high court ruling that ended abortion rights across the country and left it to states to determine whether or how to allow the procedure, comes as Biden has faced criticism from some in his own party for not acting. more urgently to protect women’s access to abortion. The decision in the case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned the court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade.

Since the ruling, Biden has emphasized that his ability to protect abortion rights through executive action is limited without action by Congress.

“Ultimately, Congress will have to act to codify Roe into federal law,” Biden said last week during a virtual meeting with Democratic governors.

The assignment to the Department of Justice and HHS is expected to push agencies to fight in court to protect women, but it does not guarantee that the judicial system will side with them against potential prosecution by states that are They have moved to ban abortion.

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To see AP’s full coverage of the Supreme Court ruling on abortion, go to https://apnews.com/hub/abortion

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