President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday promoting abortion.
“This is a moment, the moment, a moment to restore the rights that have been taken away from us and the moment to protect our nation from an extremist agenda,” Biden said, repeating himself as he spoke to the nation from the White House.
The president’s executive order, called “Protecting Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services,” states that abortion is a private decision and “should not be subject to government interference.”
His order says that the federal government “is taking action to protect healthcare service delivery and promote access to critical reproductive healthcare services, including abortion.”
Biden described the order while flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
The order tasks the Department of Health and Human Services with looking into ways to “expand access to abortion” across the country. It directs HHS to launch a public awareness campaign about abortion and contraception resources.
It says the goal is to ensure that “pregnant women and those experiencing pregnancy loss, such as miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies—receive the full protections for emergency medical care,” and to ensure that women’s health information is kept private.
Biden’s order establishes an Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access that it says will work to “protect and strengthen” access to abortion.
During his remarks, Biden said the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to overturn its 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade “was not a decision driven by the Constitution.”
“Let me say it again,” the president said. “This was not a decision driven by the Constitution.”
It’s been two weeks since the justices overturned Roe v. Wade in their 5-4 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which said the Constitution doesn’t include a right to abortion. The high court’s decision in Roe had legalized abortion across the nation.
“Few decisions are as constitutionally fraudulent as Roe v. Wade,” Thomas Jipping, a Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow, told The Daily Signal in an email Friday disputing the president’s repeated statement.
“No one, including the president, even tries to defend [Roe]. Everyone should read the Constitution and the Supreme Court’s explanation in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization for overruling Roe, and decide for themselves,” Jipping said.
Before signing the executive order, Biden exhorted the “women in this country” to vote for pro-abortion candidates in November.
“We need two additional pro-choice senators and a pro-choice House to codify Roe as federal law,” Biden said.
If Congress passes such legislation, the president pledged, he would sign it into law immediately. He also promised to veto any federal legislation banning abortion.
Republicans are discussing legislation to ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
“As long as I’m president, it won’t happen, because I’ll veto it,” Biden said. “So, the choice is clear. If you want to change the circumstance for women and even little girls in this country, please go out and vote.”
Biden’s order and remarks come as Women’s March and other pro-abortion groups pressure him to take action and “codify reproductive rights.”
“Fight to protect the women that brought you to power or step aside and [we’ll] elect someone who will,” Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director of Women’s March, said in a written statement directed at the president.
“You have the power to declare a public health emergency on abortion, codify reproductive rights through executive action, and expand the court,” Carmona said, adding: “Be our champion and use that power.”
Women’s March plans a rally Saturday in the nation’s capital to “put our bodies on the line” and take “the fight for abortion rights back to Washington D.C.,” the group’s website says.
The protest is part of pro-abortion activists’ “Summer of Rage,” in which they pledge to protest in favor of abortion throughout the summer.
“Despite half a century of Roe v. Wade poisoning our laws, courts, and culture, poll after poll continues to show an enduring consensus: Americans reject the Biden standard of abortion at any time for any reason,” Melanie Israel, a policy analyst in the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)
“The pro-life movement seeks to protect every innocent human life in law and build a culture of life where everyone can thrive,” Israel said.
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