What President Biden Has Done (and Should Do!) on Abortion Access
The overturn of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court has had a devastating impact on the ability of people seeking abortion care to be able to access the healthcare that they need. We know that 6 in 10 people who need and have had an abortion are moms. Being able to choose if we have children, and if so when and how many children to have, is a fundamental right. The stripping away of our right to bodily autonomy, and to be free and equal members of society, disproportionately affects women of color, low-income women, young and immigrant women, rural women, people with disabilities and those who are LGBTQIA+. Together we will continue to fight to secure access to abortion and reproductive care. In this moment we also want to ensure that our members understand the actions that have been taken to support pregnant and birthing people.
The Biden Administration has enacted a number of several Executive Orders to support individuals seeking reproductive care. Their measures aim to make sure the privacy of patients is protected in states where abortion remains legal:
- Safeguard access to reproductive health care services, including abortion and contraception
- Protecthe privacy of patients and their access to accurate information.
- Promote the safety and security of patients, providers, and clinics; and
- Coordinatie the implementation of Federal efforts to protect reproductive rights and access to health care.
In addition to issuing Executive Orders, President Biden and his Administration have taken additional steps to protect legally sought reproductive health care and abortion services.
- U.S. Department of Justice has established a Reproductive Rights Task Force to monitor state and local actions that threaten peoples’ ability to seek reproductive health care, including abortions in states where it is legal; that attempt to ban FDA-approved Mifepristone, also known as medication abortion; and that threaten to punish employers who seek to ensure their workers have access to the reproductive health care they need.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has reaffirmed its commitment to protecting abortion care providers under the Emergency Medical Treatment Active Labor Act (EMTALA) ensuring that federal laws are followed when abortion care is sought in emergency situations.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to ensure that individuals' privacy and other sensitive data are protected when it comes to using fertility and period tracking apps. The FTC is urging companies to consider such data protected by state and federal laws, and that the agency will crack down on companies who misuse patient and consumer data.
- Finally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance to pharmacies across the country reminding them of the legal requirements to ensure individuals can access comprehensive reproductive health care services including, but not limited to, birth control and medication abortion. The guidance specifies that patients are able to have their prescriptions filled and are able to receive guidance and advice around taking the medications.
These measures are important steps, but make no mistake: Here at MomsRising, we will not stop fighting until our right to bodily autonomy and access to reproductive justice, including abortion care, are fully and permanently restored. Sign our letter to President Biden and his Administration urging them to continue to rapidly move forward executive actions that help protect our reproductive rights and public safety. Have you recently needed abortion services? Now is the time to share your experience with access (or lack of access) to abortion-care. We know sharing experiences can be difficult, but know that sharing your story can make a HUGE difference