The president signed the “Executive Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services” at the White House in the presence of Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra, and U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
In the order, Biden states his administration’s policy to support “women's right to choose” as “essential to justice, equality, and our health, safety, and progress as a Nation.”
The order focuses on four general areas, according to a White House fact sheet: access to “reproductive health care services”; 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.”
The order directs the HHS, among other things, to protect and expand access to contraception and abortion, particularly abortion drugs. It also calls for bringing together pro bono lawyers whose services could include “protecting the right to travel out of state to seek medical care.”
The administration also promises to 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,” the fact sheet reads.
In his remarks, Biden added that he is asking the Justice Department “to do everything in their power to protect these women seeking to invoke their rights.”