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Biden signs executive order protecting inter-state travel for abortion

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SOMERSET, MASSACHUSETTS, USA - US President Joe Biden addresses the crowd and gathered media at the closed Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Massachusetts, United States on July 20, 2022. (Joseph Prezioso - Anadolu Agency)
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Aug 04, 2022 - 03:15 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – President Joe Biden signed on Wednesday a new executive order aimed at bolstering abortion access in the US after the Supreme Court stripped federal protections for the procedure.

Biden signed the order during the inaugural convening of his Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access, saying: “I commit to the American people that we’re doing everything in our power to safeguard access to health care, including the right to choose that women had under Roe vs. Wade, which was ripped away by this extreme court.”

The president was referring to the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that made abortion rights the law of the land until it was overturned by the Supreme Court in June.

He once again called on lawmakers to codify Roe vs. Wade into law, warning that “if Congress fails to act, the people of this country need to elect senators and representatives who will restore roe and will protect the right to privacy, freedom and equality.”

“This fight is not over,” he said.

The directive offers Medicaid waivers to states who have not outlawed abortion, helping them treat women who travel out of their home state to receive an abortion. It also calls on health care providers to comply with federal nondiscrimination laws, and streamlines data collection and research on “maternal health outcomes,” according to the White House.

Most Americans – roughly 60% – want to see abortion rights protected federally in all or most cases. Just 37% think abortion should be illegal, according to a Pew poll released June 13, just over a week before the Supreme Court nixed nationwide protections.

About 57% of Americans disapprove of the top court’s decision, Pew found in a follow-up poll released July 6.

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