Biden takes executive action to protect abortion access

President Joe Biden signed an executive order July 8 to protect access to reproductive healthcare services after the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion June 24. 

"President Biden has made clear that the only way to secure a women's right to choose is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe as federal law," the White House said in a statement. "Until then, he has committed to doing everything in his power to defend reproductive rights and protect access to safe and legal abortion." 

The order directs HHS to take steps to ensure access to federally approved abortion medication is safe and accessible, as well as to enhance access to contraception. To protect patient information related to reproductive healthcare, the White House said HHS will issue new guidance to help providers understand when they are not required to disclose patients' private health information, including with law enforcement, as well as a consumer guide for how to best protect personal data on mobile devices. 

Additionally, the White House said it will work with the attorney general to convene volunteer lawyers to represent patients, providers and third parties seeking or providing legal reproductive healthcare services throughout the U.S. "Such representation could include protecting the right to travel out of state to seek medical care," the White House's statement said. 

"I'm asking the Justice Department, that, much like they did in the Civil Rights era, to do everything in their power to protect these women seeking to invoke their rights," President Biden said speaking at the White House July 8. 

To coordinate implementation efforts, the executive order directs HHS to establish and lead an interagency task force to safeguard access to reproductive healthcare. 

To read more details about the executive order, click here

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