Two weeks after a landmark Supreme Court ruling reversed abortion rights nationwide, President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday in hopes of curtailing state bans or restrictions, the White House said.
The Biden administration said the president will direct the Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to protect access to abortion medication and contraception and ensure emergency medical care for pregnant women suffering from pregnancy loss.
He also asks agencies to develop strategies to protect abortion patients’ privacy. That step would be in an effort to protect abortion patients from potential prosecution in states where abortions are illegal or restricted.
Part of Biden’s order is to direct Attorney General Merrick Garland to lead a task force that would “provide technical assistance to states affording legal protection to out-of-state patients as well as providers who offer legal reproductive health care,” the White House said.
While leaders of Republican states might challenge these edicts in court, the executive order might not go far enough for some. There have been calls by abortion-rights advocates to use federal land for abortion clinics. Those calls, however, have been rebuffed by the White House.
According to the Associated Press, abortions are banned or restricted in more than 20 states.