Roe v Wade: Biden signs order on abortion access

President Joe Biden has signed an executive order to boost protections for abortion and contraception access.

Mr Biden has faced pressure from fellow Democrats to respond with bolder action after a recent Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v Wade.

It paved the way for individual US states to decide if and how to allow abortions.

The order includes measures to safeguard access to abortion medication.

It beefs up protection against potential penalties that women seeking abortion may face if they travel across state lines for the procedure, protects access to contraception, and takes steps to protect patient privacy.

The order directs Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to submit a report within 30 days on those efforts.

Mr Biden has maintained that his ability to institute abortion rights is limited without action from the US Congress.

“Until then, he has committed to doing everything in his power to defend reproductive rights and protect access to safe and legal abortion,” the White House said in a statement on Friday.

The action comes nearly two weeks after the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that guaranteed the constitutional right to an abortion across the US.

Since then, at least nine states have instituted a near-total ban, with the only exception being danger to the life of the mother.

Other states are now scrambling to protect abortion access amid legal challenges, while abortion clinics are struggling to navigate patchworks of new laws.

Mr Biden is also directing the attorney general and White House counsel to convene private pro bono attorneys and public interest organisations to encourage legal representation for those seeking or offering reproductive health services.

“Such representation could include protecting the right to travel out of state to seek medical care,” the White House said.



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