WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will take executive action Friday to protect access to abortion, according to three people familiar with the matter, as he faces mounting pressure from Democrats to be stronger on the issue after the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to due process two weeks ago.
The White House said Biden would speak Friday morning “to protect access to reproductive health services,” but the actions Biden had to outline were expected to be limited in scope. He is expected to formalize instructions to the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to fend off efforts to limit women’s ability to access federally approved abortion drugs or travel across state lines to access clinic services. abortions. The people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Biden’s actions before they were officially announced.
Biden’s executive order would also have agencies work to educate health care providers and insurers about how and when they are required to share privileged patient information with authorities — an attempt to protect women who seek or use abortion services. .
The order, coming two weeks after a June 24 Supreme Court ruling that ended nationwide abortion rights and left it up to states to determine whether and how to allow the procedure, comes as Biden faces criticism from some in his own party for not acting with greater urgency to protect women’s access to abortion. The decision in the case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturned the court’s landmark 1973 decision Roe v. Wade.
After the decision, Biden stressed that his ability to protect abortion rights through executive action is limited without action by Congress.
“Ultimately, Congress will have to act to codify Roe into federal law,” Biden said last week during a virtual meeting with Democratic governors.
The Justice Department and HHS task force is expected to prompt the agencies to fight in court to protect women, but offers no guarantees that the court system will side with them against potential prosecution by states that have banned abortions.
For complete AP coverage of the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, go to https://apnews.com/hub/abortion
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Facing pressure, Biden to sign abortion access order
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