Biden to Sign Executive Order on Abortions — But Does It Do Enough?

President Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order on Friday to expand protection for those seeking abortion services or contraceptives — but many reproductive rights advocates have said that his planned order doesn’t go far enough.

Biden receives your order as Democrats and progressives have been demanding a more actionable response from the administrationJust two weeks after the Supreme Court overturned protections in 1973’s 1973 decision, the Supreme Court reaffirmed abortion rights. Roe v. Wade. Some Democrats feel that the White House should be more prepared to act immediately, considering that a draft of the ruling was released several weeks before the official one was published.

The order seeks protection of reproductive rights in many ways. It directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop ways to expand and protect access to abortion care, “including access to medication that the [Food and Drug Administration] approved as safe and effective over twenty years ago,” according to a fact sheet from the White House.

The order also directs department to take action to expand family planning services, including access and contraceptives. Particular emphasis is on long-acting, irreversible options like intrauterine device (IUDs).

HHS will update federal guidances regarding emergency medical care. It will also increase efforts to educate the public about their options to access reproductive health care, including abortion. Other actions include protecting consumers from privacy violations regarding their health, increasing protections under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Acts (HIPAA), and increasing protections to providers and clinics.

Biden’s order will also authorize the creation of an interagency task forceTo ensure that these and other aspects are carried out in a coordinated manner.

Many on social media welcomed the news of the order, but noted that it wouldn’t do nearly enough.

While describing the order as “important,” Elizabeth McLaughlin, CEO of Gaia Project for Women’s Leadership, recognized that “much of this is recommendations” and that Biden’s order “needs more teeth.”

“I’ll take it, but keep pushing,” she added.

Anna Eskamani (D), Florida state representative, also described the order’s importance but agreed that further action was necessary.

“There seems to be important measures in this Executive Order, including directing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to address online privacy concerns for folks who search for abortion services & securing legal backing for abortion providers & patients,” Eskamani said. “But it isn’t enough.”