President Biden will sign an executive order on Friday aimed at protecting abortion access after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the White House said.
Why it matters: Biden has faced intense pressure from his own party to act more aggressively on abortion. Many conservative states had “trigger laws” in place that banned or severely limited abortions in the days following the ruling and more bans are expected.
Driving the news: The Biden administration said the executive order would include “safeguarding access to reproductive health care services, including abortion and contraception.”
- Biden will also direct the Department of Health and Human Services to take additional action to protect access to abortion medication, emergency medical care and contraception, the White House said.
- The order will also seek to address concerns over patient privacy and digital surveillance, including taking steps to protect consumers’ privacy when seeking information about reproductive health care services.
- The administration will also convene volunteer lawyers to “encourage robust legal representation of patients, providers, and third parties lawfully seeking or offering reproductive health care services throughout the country.” That representation could include helping to protect a patient’s right to travel to another state for an abortion.
- HHS will also consider actions to protect sensitive information related to reproductive health care, the White House said.
- “The guidance helps ensure doctors and other medical providers and health plans know that, with limited exceptions, they are not required — and in many cases, are not permitted — to disclose patients’ private information, including to law enforcement,” per the White House.
The big picture: After the Supreme Court ruling, Biden has said that his ability to enshrine abortion rights is limited without congressional action.
- “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.