On July 8, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that takes steps to preserve abortion access. However, he underscored that it would take political change to restore the rights removed when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, according to NPR.
At least nine statesAlabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsinhave banned abortion so far. A dozen more states are expected to bar or restrict the procedure in the coming weeks.
The executive order pledges to ensure the safety of abortion patients and providers, including setting up mobile clinics near the borders of states restricting abortion access. It also seeks to convene private, pro bono lawyers to offer support to people crossing state lines to get an abortion.
Another part of the order directs the secretary of Health and Human Services to issue a report in the next 30 days outlining additional actions to protect medication abortion, expand access on emergency contraception and IUDs, and increase public education around reproductive rights.
In a statement Windy City Times received, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said, "Abortion is an LGBTQ issue. Bodily autonomy and access to healthcare is a shared struggle for women and the LGBTQ community, especially when it comes to abortion and transgender healthcare. President Biden's executive order is a necessary step to protect the health of Americans and to stem the constant state-level attacks on our bodies and our right to access life-saving medical care.
"Congress needs to also urgently act by restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade as federal law, as well as passing the Equality Act and codifying decisions like Griswold v. Connecticut, Lawrence v. Texas, and Obergefell v. Hodges."