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06-2022

Biden signs abortion order after High Court ruling

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday to protect access to abortion, as he faces mounting pressure from fellow Democrats after the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to the procedure. two weeks ago.

The actions they outlined are intended to ease some of the potential penalties that women seeking abortions may face after the ruling, but have been limited in their ability to secure access to abortion nationwide. . Biden acknowledged the limitations of his office, saying an act of Congress would be needed to restore access to abortion in the more than a dozen states where strict limits or total restrictions have come into force in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling. About a dozen more states are set to impose additional restrictions in the coming weeks and months.

“The fastest way to reinstate Rowe is to pass a national law,” Biden said. “The challenge is to go out and vote. There is an election in November for God’s sake. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote!”

Biden formally directed the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to limit efforts to limit women’s ability to access federally approved abortion medication or travel across state lines to access clinical abortion services. Emphasize on, In the Roosevelt Room, Vice President Kamala Harris, HHS Secretary Javier Becerra and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco joined him as he signed the order.

Her executive order directs agencies to work to educate medical providers and insurers about how and when they are required to share privileged patient information with authorities — those seeking or using abortion services. Attempt to protect women. He is also asking the Federal Trade Commission to take steps to protect the privacy of those seeking information about fertility care online and to establish an inter-agency task force to coordinate federal efforts to protect access to abortion. Is.

Biden is instructing his employees to call on volunteer lawyers to provide free legal aid to women and providers to help them navigate new state restrictions following the Supreme Court ruling.

The order, following a June 24 ruling from the High Court, which ended the nationwide right to abortion and left it to states to determine whether or not to allow the procedure, comes as Biden has to The party itself has faced criticism from some people. To protect women’s access to abortion. The decision in the case Dobbs v. Jackson is known as the Women’s Health Organization. Overturned the court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Since the decision, Biden has insisted that his ability to protect abortion rights by executive action is limited without Congressional action, and insisted that Democrats do not have the votes in the current Congress to do so. .

“We need two additional pro-choice senators and a pro-choice house to codify Roe,” he said. “Your vote can make it a reality.”

He predicted that women would leave in “record numbers” in despair over the court’s decision, and added that he expected “millions and millions of men to fight beside them.”

On Friday, he reiterated his scathing criticism of the Supreme Court’s argument for overturning a half-century constitutional right to abortion.

“Let’s be clear about something from the start, this was not a Constitution-driven decision,” Biden said, accusing the majority of the court of “playing fast and loose with the facts.”

“Ultimately, Congress will have to act to codify Roe into federal law,” Biden said during a virtual meeting with Democratic governors last week.,

The tasks assigned to the Department of Justice and HHS prompt agencies to fight in court to protect women, but it does not guarantee that the judicial system will take its stand against potential prosecution by states that have outlawed abortion. have been

“President Biden has made clear that the only way to secure a woman’s right to choose is for Congress to restore Rowe’s protection as federal law,” the White House said. “Until then, she has committed to doing everything in her power to protect reproductive rights and protect access to safe and legal abortion.”

Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called Biden’s order “an important first step in restoring the rights the Supreme Court has taken from millions of Americans.”

But Lawrence Gostin, who runs the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health in Georgetown Law, described Biden’s plans as “overwhelming.”

“There is nothing that I saw that would affect the lives of ordinary poor women living in red states,” he said.

Gostin encouraged Biden to take a more forceful approach to ensuring access to drug abortions nationwide, and said Medicaid should consider covering transportation to other states intended to perform abortions.

“We basically have two Americas,” Gostin said. There is one where people have access to a full range of healthcare, and “another where citizens do not have the same rights to safe and effective treatment as the rest of the country.”

Chiquita Brooks-Lasur, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told the Associated Press that the agency was looking at how Medicaid could cover travel for abortion, along with other proposals, but acknowledged that “Medicaid’s coverage of abortion It’s extremely limited.”

Biden’s move was the latest scramble to protect the data privacy of those considering or seeking an abortion, as regulators and lawmakers believe following a Supreme Court ruling.

The court’s decision is expected to make abortion illegal in more than a dozen states and severely restricted in others. Privacy experts say it could leave women vulnerable as their personal data could be used to monitor pregnancies and shared with police or sold to vigilantes. Experts say online searches, location data, text messages and emails, and even apps that track periods could be used to prosecute people who seek abortions. – or medical care for an abortion – as well as those who helped them could be prosecuted.

Privacy advocates are watching for potential new moves by law enforcement agencies in affected states – for example, Google, Apple, Bing, tech companies such as Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp, services such as Uber and Lyft, and Internet service providers including AT&T. Providing service on , Verizon, T-Mobile and Comcast. Local prosecutors can turn to sympathetic judges to obtain search warrants for users’ data.

Last month four Democratic lawmakers asked the FTC to investigate Apple and Google for allegedly defrauding millions of mobile phone users by enabling third parties to collect and sell their personal data.

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Associated Press writers Marcy Gordon and Hilary Powell contributed to this report.

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For full coverage of Associated Press’s Supreme Court decision on abortion, visit https://apnews.com/hub/abortion.,

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