Biden to sign abortion executive order in response to Dobbs

U.S. President Joe Biden arrives at the Vatican to meet Pope Francis Oct. 29, 2021 U.S. President Joe Biden arrives at the Vatican to meet Pope Francis, Oct. 29, 2021 | Daniel Ibanez/CNA

President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Friday aimed at protecting abortion access in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the case that legalized abortion in 1973.

“President Biden has made clear that the only way to secure a woman’s right to choose is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe as federal law,” a July 8 White House fact sheet reads. “Until then, he has committed to doing everything in his power to defend reproductive rights and protect access to safe and legal abortion.”

To accomplish this, he will sign an “Executive Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services.”

The order will focus on four general areas: access to “reproductive health care services,” including abortion and contraception; patients’ privacy and access to information; the security of patients, providers, and clinics; and the coordination of federal efforts to protect “reproductive rights and access to health care.”

National pro-life leaders expressed concern about the order, particularly its impact on abortion drugs. 

“It is tragic that this administration is using its power to push for more and more painful abortions which harm women and take innocent lives,” March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said in a statement. “Of particular concern is the administration's effort to push chemical abortion which carries significant health risks to women, even more than surgical abortion.” 

Likewise, the president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, Marjorie Dannenefelser, stressed that “President Biden has once again caved to the extreme abortion lobby, determined to put the full weight of the federal government behind promoting abortion.”

“Democrats will stop at nothing to promote their agenda of abortion on demand, up until the moment of birth, paid for by the taxpayers – including dangerous mail-order abortion drugs — even if it means gutting the long-standing filibuster, increasing the size of the Supreme Court, or putting abortionists in tents in national parks,” she said in a statement.

Under safeguarding “access to reproductive health,” Biden directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to protect “medication” abortion and contraception, ensure emergency medical care particularly for pregnant woman, launch public education efforts, and convene public lawyers.

“Such representation could include protecting the right to travel out of state to seek medical care,” the fact sheet reads.

Under protecting patient privacy, the order promises to protection consumers against privacy violations and deceptive practices as well as protect sensitive health information.

The administration also will protect patients seeking abortion as well as providers and clinics providing abortion, including “mobile clinics, which have been deployed to borders to offer care for out-of-state patients,” according to the fact sheet. 

Under coordinating federal efforts, the order will establish an “Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Health Care Access,” to organize federal interagency policymaking and program development. 

Biden, a Catholic, has repeatedly supported abortion in contrast with the Catholic Church’s teaching that human life must be respected and protected from the moment of conception.

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