President Biden signed an executive order Friday protecting abortion and contraception access after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, saying the high court and Republicans have underestimated the “power of American women,” and predicted they will turn out in “record numbers” for November’s midterm elections to “reclaim the rights” taken from them.
The president added the Supreme Court’s “terrible” and “extreme” ruling to return the issue of abortion to the states after more than 50 years was “wrongheaded.”
“Let’s be clear about something from the very start — this was not a decision driven by the Constitution,” he said. “Let me say it again — this was not a decision driven by the Constitution, and despite what those justices, the majority said, this was not a decision driven by history.”
The president, slamming the high court, said they are “playing fast and loose with the facts,” and stressed that “medicine should not be frozen in the 19th century.”
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Biden, since the Supreme Court’s decision last month, has urged Congress to codify protections under Roe v. Wade into federal law.
Shifting to November’s midterm elections, Biden said that the United States needs “two additional pro-choice senators and a pro-choice House to codify Roe as federal law.”
“Your vote can make that a reality,” Biden said. “I know it’s frustrating, and it made a lot of people very angry, but the truth is, and it’s not just me saying it, it’s what the court said when you read the decision — the court had made clear it will not protect the rights of women. Period.”
The president stressed that “the women of America can determine the outcome of this issue.”
“I don’t think the court, or for that matter, the Republicans who for decades have pushed the extreme agenda, have a clue about the power of American women,” Biden said. “But they’re about to find out.”
He added: “In my view, it is my hope, and strong belief, that women will, in fact, turn out in record numbers to reclaim the rights that have been taken from them by the court.”
Pointing to some Republicans who have suggested they will support a nationwide abortion ban, Biden stressed that as long as he is president, “it won’t happen.”
“Let me tell you something. As long as I’m president, it won’t happen because I’ll veto it,” he 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 added that millions of men will be “taking on the fight” alongside women in November’s elections “to restore the right to choose and the broader right to privacy in this nation.”
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“For God’s sake, there’s an election in November. Vote, vote, vote, vote,” Biden said.
The president’s comments came as he signed an executive order to protect access to reproductive health care services.
The order safeguards access to reproductive health care services, including abortion and contraception; protects the privacy of patients and their access to information promotes safety and security of patients, providers and clinics; and coordinates the implementation of federal efforts to protect reproductive rights and access to health care.
The Biden administration announced Friday that the Department of Health and Human Services will take additional action to protect and expand access to abortion care, including access to medication that the FDA approved as safe and effective.
Health and Human Services will also take steps to ensure all patients — including pregnant women and those experiencing pregnancy loss — have access to the full rights and protections for emergency medical care.
The department is also set to take additional actions to expand access to emergency contraception and “long-acting reversible contraception like intrauterine devices (IUDs).”