Supreme Court ‘out of control’, ordered to protect abortion access

US President Joe Biden speaks before signing an executive order to help protect women’s access to abortion and contraception after the Supreme Court last month overturned Roe v Wade’s decision to legalize it. abortion, at the White House in Washington, July 8, 2022.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

Calling the US Supreme Court to “lose control”, the President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday designed to boost access to abortion in states that are banning abortions following a court ruling two weeks ago that overturned the constitutional right to abortion.

Biden, behind Vice President Kamala Harris and Health Secretary Xavier Becerra, has condemned the conservative majority court for stripping away basic rights of US citizens that he says are protected by the Constitution, such as: such as the right to privacy in health matters such as seeking an abortion.

“We cannot allow an out-of-control Supreme Court to work with Republican extremists to take away our individual liberties and autonomy,” he said from the White House.

The President made comments by Justice Clarence Thomas in a unanimous opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade, challenging previous rulings on access to contraception, same-sex marriage and Other problems.

“What century are they in?” asked a skeptical-sounding Biden, who has promised to veto any future Republican-led nationwide abortion ban efforts. The Affordable Care Act guarantees women free birth control and contraception advice.

Biden then signed an executive order promising to protect the safety of abortion patients and providers, and that access to the procedure through mobile clinics near the border of the states is limited. access to abortion.

The order also requires the Department of Health and Human Services to issue a report next month detailing actions to protect medical abortion, ensuring access to emergency contraception and the IUD as well. such as enhancing reproductive education.

It directs HHS to take steps to protect access to abortion pills, though it’s unclear exactly what the federal government intends to do. More than 20 years ago, the Food and Drug Administration approved the abortion pill mifepristone as a safe and effective way to end a pregnancy before the 10th week.

In December, the FDA permanently authorized the mailing of medications from licensed pharmacies and healthcare providers. Planned Parenthood, a healthcare provider that supports access to abortion services, hailed the decision at the time as a significant expansion of reproductive rights.

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The order was made two weeks after the Supreme Court vote to reverse Roe and Wade .’s landmark 1973 decision and ends 50 years of legal precedent. So far, at least eight states, including Texas, Alabama and Missouri, have banned abortion, and dozens more are expected to restrict or ban access to the procedure within the next two months.

Democrats, angered and upset by the court’s decision, pressured Biden and Congress to do more in response to the ruling. And while the order is an attempt to quell some public outrage, the directive is vague and leaves many details to be worked out by Becerra and legal experts.

Biden also directed HHS on Friday to ensure that pregnant women with miscarriages and other complications have access to emergency medical care.

Abortion rights activists fear that medical professionals will delay treatment for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies for fear that state prosecutors might interpret these interventions as a type of abortion. .

Meanwhile, abortion rights advocates have urged lawmakers to suspend Senate filtering rules that require a minimum of 60 votes to pass the legislation, a monumental task in the split. 50-50 between Democrats, who seek abortion rights protections, and Republicans, who largely supported the court’s decision to reverse Roe.

Biden acknowledged that fact in his White House speech on Friday and urged Americans to vote of conscience in the November midterm elections. “The fastest way to restore Roe is to pass national legislation on systematize Roe, which I will sign as soon as it is adopted at my desk,” he said.

Women who live in states that ban abortions or have to order the drugs from abroad, this poses some risk or cross state lines to get a prescription in a state where the procedure is still legal.

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