LIVE: Biden to Sign Executive Order to Preserve Abortion Rights

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “LIVE: Biden to Sign Executive Order to Preserve Abortion Rights” – below is their description.

(Jul. 8) President Joe Biden will issue an executive order intended to preserve access to abortion after advocates and Democratic lawmakers have demanded that the White House take more robust action following last month’s Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The order, which Biden is to sign at an event Friday morning at the White House, is unlikely to restore the availability of abortion in states that have largely outlawed the procedure in recent weeks. Yet it will codify efforts taken by health officials in the aftermath of the high court’s ruling that are designed to provide resources for women seeking abortions.

Under the order, which was detailed by the White House in a statement, the Department of Health and Human Services will be required to submit a report to the president within the next month about efforts to ensure the availability of abortion pills, contraception, and emergency medical care for pregnant women.

The department will also be expected to detail its public education efforts on abortion access, and consider ways to protect patient information related to reproductive health care from law enforcement.

The Justice Department and White House lawyers, according to the statement, will also organize a group of attorneys to offer free legal services to people seeking abortions, including those who want to travel outside the states where they live. And the administration is creating an interagency task force to coordinate abortion rights efforts between the White House and Cabinet agencies.

But the order stops short of more significant actions that have been suggested by top Democrats, including more than two dozen senators and governors including New York’s Kathy Hochul, who have argued that the ruling was drastic enough to ask the White House to consider novel uses of executive authority.

The administration has so far sidestepped calls to allow abortions on federal lands to circumvent state laws, allow Veterans Affairs facilities to provide abortions, or declare a public health emergency related to the ruling, citing various legal and practical concerns.

The president and other White House officials have repeatedly said they see the restoration of national abortion access as only possible with congressional action.

“He’s going to do everything that he can that he has the legal authority to do from here in the from the executive side, but we believe and he believes that the way that Roe gets codified is if Congress acts,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday.

The executive order comes as six in 10 Americans say they disapprove of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to a Monmouth University poll conducted late last month.

Separately, Vice President Kamala Harris plans to meet Friday with state lawmakers from Indiana, Florida, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Montana. Each state has a Republican-controlled legislature and is expected to attempt to pass tougher abortion restrictions in the coming weeks.

Harris will “convey the administration’s commitment to protecting access to reproductive health care, and she will encourage the legislators to continue defending reproductive rights and freedoms at the state level,” the White House said in a statement.

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