Joe Biden signs an executive order in an effort to protect abortion access rights after the Supreme Court recently struck down the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. The president also urged a vote in the midterm elections to speed up these steps forward.
Biden signs executive order defending abortion
US President Joe Biden signed an executive order today to protect access to abortion for women in states where it is already prohibited. Biden called the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling enshrining the right to abortion 'terrible and totally wrong'. "We need a law that codifies this right. We cannot let an out-of-control Court limit freedoms." And it is precisely today that the president makes his remarks concrete. According to Biden, Congress may soon be debating the enactment of a specific termination of pregnancy law.
What does the order provide for?
Biden's executive order is limited in scope, and builds on some previously announced efforts. In particular, it guarantees some additional measures to protect access to emergency medical care for women who want to undergo abortion in states where it is prohibited. Residents of these states will thus be permitted to travel to states where abortion is permitted in order to undergo the necessary clinical procedures. In the event of an indictment, Justice Department and White House staff are required to convene private pro-bono lawyers and public interest groups to defend the women involved. The order also requires the Department of Health and Human Services to protect and expand access to abortion drugs by mail. This mechanism is legal and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but still remains banned or largely restricted in several states.
For Biden, the midterm is crucial for a breakthrough on these rights
President Biden also took the opportunity to call for a vote in the midterm elections so that all necessary rights, including abortion, can be guaranteed and enshrined in law. "Let me be clear. Although I wish it had not come to this, this is the fastest route available. The fastest way to restore the Roe ruling is to pass a national law codifying it, which I will sign immediately upon its passage on my desk," Biden said.
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