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Two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, President Biden plans to sign an executive order on abortion access on Friday, three sources familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
The White House said Biden would speak on Friday morning “about protecting access to reproductive health services.” It should outline actions to try to mitigate some potential penalties that women who seek an abortion might face after the decision, but are limited in their ability to secure abortion access nationwide.
Biden should ask the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to push back against any state effort to limit a woman’s ability to cross state lines for a legal abortion or obtain medication for federally-approved abortions, according to the AP report.
In a new attempt to protect women seeking abortions, Biden’s executive order will also direct agencies to work to educate medical providers and insurers on how and when they are required to share privileged patient information with authorities. It will also ask the Federal Trade Commission to take steps to protect the privacy of those who seek reproductive care information online.
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The White House said Vice President Kamala Harris will attend the president’s remarks on Friday morning before meeting with legislative leaders from the states of Indiana, Florida, South Dakota, Nebraska and Montana who are “fighting on the front line to protect reproductive rights”.
Many on the left criticized the president for not doing more after the court overturned Roe v. Wade – which effectively ended recognition of a constitutional right to abortion and gave each state the power to license, limit or ban the practice altogether.
Biden, for his part, stressed that his ability to protect access to abortion in states where authorities plan to restrict or ban it is limited and pointed out that Congress has the ability to codify rights. to abortion.
“Ultimately, Congress will have to act to codify Roe into federal law,” he said a week ago, but the Senate likely wouldn’t have enough votes. He also reminded pro-choice voters to go to the polls in November.
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“If extremist governors try to stop a woman from traveling from a state that prohibits her from seeking the medical help she needs to a state that provides that care, we will act to protect her basic rights,” Biden tweeted. Thursday, adding hours later, “If states try to prevent a woman from getting a drug that the FDA has already approved and that has been available for more than twenty years, we will act to protect that woman’s right to that drug.” medication. »
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Biden also added on Wednesday that the filibuster should not prevent Roe’s codification. “But at the moment we don’t have the votes to change the filibuster. That means we need to elect more Democratic senators and re-elect our majority in the House in November to get this bill on my desk. »
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On Tuesday, he tweeted: ‘Personal liberties are on the ballot’ in November, but until then his administration ‘will do everything in its power to ensure women have access to the medicines they need. and that they have the freedom to travel to seek the care they need. »
The Associated Press contributed to this report.