By CASEY HARPER
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday in response to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, sending the matter of abortion rights back to states.
“What we’re witnessing is a giant step backwards in much of our country,” President Biden said in his remarks announcing the order Friday.
The White House said the order will coordinate “the implementation of Federal efforts to protect reproductive rights and access to health care.”
Specifically, Health and Human Services will compile a report on how to “protect access to medication abortion” and launch a public education campaign promoting abortion access.
The Biden administration is also gathering lawyers and legal groups “to encourage robust legal representation of patients, providers, and third parties lawfully seeking or offering reproductive health care services throughout the country.”
“HHS will take additional actions to expand access to the full range of reproductive health services, including family planning services and providers, such as access to emergency contraception and long-acting reversible contraception like intrauterine devices (IUDs),” the White House said in a statement. “In all fifty states and the District of Columbia, the Affordable Care Act guarantees coverage of women’s preventive services, including free birth control and contraceptive counseling, for individuals and covered dependents. The Secretary of HHS has already directed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to take every legally available step to ensure patient access to family planning care and to protect family planning providers.”
The executive order comes after President Biden called on Congress in late June to remove the filibuster to “codify” Roe v. Wade into law after the Supreme Court overturned it.
“The most important thing to be clear about is I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law,” President Biden said at the time . “And the way to do that is to make sure that Congress votes to do that, and if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, it should be … we provide an exception for this … require an exception to the filibuster for this action.”
President Biden made a similar request of Congress regarding voting regulations legislation, but both have gone unanswered.