White House action on abortion laws


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending the right to abortion nearly one month ago. Since then, protests from both sides of the spectrum have been seen locally, regionally and nationally. We examine what President Biden is doing in regard to abortion.

A fact sheet titled, “President Biden announces actions in light of today’s Supreme Court decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization” was provided on Friday, June 24. The fact sheet reveals two actions that the Administration is taking to protect women.

The first is protecting the right to seek medical care. “As the Attorney General [Merrick B. Garland] made clear, women must remain free to travel safely to another state to seek the care they need. A person has the right to travel between states for whatever reason they want – it is no one else’s business – especially the government’s. If a woman lives in a state that restricts abortion, the Supreme Court’s decision does not prevent her from traveling from her home to a state that allows it. If any state or local official tries to interfere with women exercising this basic right, the Biden Administration will fight that deeply un-American attack.”

The second is to protect access to medication. “More than 20 years ago, the FDA approved mifepristone to safely end an early pregnancy; this drug is also commonly used to treat miscarriages. The American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists wrote to President Biden and Vice President Harris, asking the federal government to protect access to this care. In the face of threats from state officials saying they will try to ban or severely restrict access to medication for reproductive health care, the President directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to identify all the ways to ensure that mifepristone is as widely accessible as possible in light of the FDA’s determination that the drug is safe and effective, including when prescribed through telehealth and sent by mail.”

The next action came from the White House Briefing Room on Friday, July 8, in which President Biden signed an Executive Order on protecting access to reproductive healthcare services. It states, “By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Nearly 50 years ago, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), articulated the United States Constitution’s protection of women’s fundamental right to make reproductive healthcare decisions. These deeply private decisions should not be subject to government interference. Yet today, fundamental rights — to privacy, autonomy, freedom and equality — have been denied to millions of women across the country.

Eliminating the right recognized in Roe has already had and will continue to have devastating implications for women’s health and public health more broadly. Access to reproductive healthcare services is now threatened for millions of Americans, and especially for those who live in states that are banning or severely restricting abortion care. Women’s health clinics are being forced to close — including clinics that offer other preventive healthcare services such as contraception — leaving many communities without access to critical reproductive healthcare services. Women seeking abortion care — especially those in low-income, rural and other underserved communities — now have to travel to jurisdictions where services remain legal notwithstanding the cost or risks.

In the face of this health crisis, the Federal Government is taking action to protect healthcare service delivery and promote access to critical reproductive healthcare services, including abortion. It remains the policy of my Administration to support women’s right to choose and to protect and defend reproductive rights. Doing so is essential to justice, equality and our health, safety and progress as a Nation.”

The document continues in length and focuses on the following in a summary statement from The White House.

• Safeguarding access to reproductive health care services, including abortion and contraception.

• Protecting the privacy of patients and their access to accurate information.

• Promoting the safety and security of patients, providers and clinics; and

• Coordinating the implementation of Federal efforts to protect reproductive rights and access to health care.

To view the documents in their entirety, logon to whitehouse.gov and visit the link briefing room. From there, filter and search results including many topics, including abortion.

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