Joe Biden signed an executive order at the White House on Friday that he said would protect access to abortions across the nation. He also condemned the “extreme” Supreme Court that overruled Roe v. Wade last month, ending the judicial declaration of a constitutional right to end unborn life.
Biden told Americans who were not happy with the ruling of the court that returns the power to regulate or prohibit abortion to the states individually they should “vote, vote, vote, vote” in November.
Even though the president has no power to overrule a decision by the Supreme Court, Biden had been under mounting pressure from progressive leftist members of his party to do something more forceful to condemn the decision that exposes abortion once again to the will of the people.
Biden said before signing the order that he realized his power is limited and insisted that it would take an act of Congress to “codify” Roe v. Wade and federal access to abortion. However, neither Biden nor Democrats generally have even attempted to seriously discuss how Congress would have authority under the Constitution to mandate abortion access in the states.
The executive order gives instructions to the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to resist efforts to limit access to FDA-approved abortion drugs or to travel to other states to obtain abortions.
It also directs federal agencies to educate private insurers and medical providers about when and how they are required to share patient information. The directive is designed to protect the identities of women seeking abortions.
Biden also directed the White House staff to identify and advise volunteer lawyers who are willing to provide women and abortion providers with free legal services regarding state regulations of abortion procedures.
Biden was joined at his press appearance by Vice President Kamala Harris and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
Turning back to his campaigning talking points, Biden said that Democrats must have two more “pro-choice senators and a pro-choice House to codify Roe.” In a pitch to midterm voters, he added, “Your vote can make that a reality.”
For the first time last week, Biden said that he now supports amending the Senate filibuster rule in order to get a federal abortion law passed through the upper chamber by a simple majority. Nevertheless, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have maintained that they will not vote to scrap the filibuster for ordinary legislation under any circumstance.