Biden to sign executive order on abortion access

Biden to sign executive order on abortion access

Under growing pressure from his own party, President Joe Biden on Friday plans to use the power of the White House to protect a woman's access to abortion, three sources familiar the matter told the Associated Press.

Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court ended almost 50 years of nationwide access to abortion, guaranteed under the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. Efforts to ban the procedure went ahead in many states soon after, but sources told the AP that Biden is expected to speak Friday morning "on protecting access to reproductive health care services."

According to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Biden's move before it is officially announced, any executive action would not be able to protect the right to abortion for women nationwide, but would try to rein in any penalties incurred by women who are seeking one.

For example, the executive action might include formal instructions from Biden that the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services resist attempts to prevent women from accessing federally approved abortion medications or to travel across state lines to visit clinics in places that still allow abortions.

That could lead to legal pushback in the courts from states that have moved to outlaw abortion, however.

Agencies may also be be asked to educate and insurers on what information can be released to authorities when seek out an abortion, the AP said. That would include instructions to the Federal Trade Commission regarding information transmitted online.

Still, Biden's reach as president on this issue is limited.

"Ultimately, Congress is going to have to act to codify Roe into ," Biden said last week during a virtual meeting with Democratic governors, the AP reported.

More information: Visit the Guttmacher Institute for more on abortion access.

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