Biden makes big move to protect access to contraceptives

Washington DC - President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Friday aimed at strengthening access to contraception, the White House said, a year after the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion.

President Joe Biden will take executive action to protect access to birth control in the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
President Joe Biden will take executive action to protect access to birth control in the overturning of Roe v. Wade.  © Collage: SAUL LOEB / AFP & REUTERS

Friday's executive order will give women with private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act access to all FDA-approved contraceptives, the White House said in a statement.

Last year, the Supreme Court decided to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion and left it up to each state to decide.

That same day, several conservative states moved to ban abortion, forcing clinics to hastily shut down or move to places where they could still operate.

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"In the last year, women have been denied essential medical care to preserve their health and even save their lives," the White House said.

"President Biden and Vice President Harris stand with the majority of Americans who believe the right to choose is fundamental – and who have made their voices heard at every opportunity since the Supreme Court's decision," it added.

Modest drop in number of abortions

This is Joe Biden's first executive order aimed at protecting and expanding access to contraception.

Around 20 states, mostly in the South and Midwest, have prohibited abortion outright or severely restricted access while others, mainly on the coasts, have moved to protect it.

According to a study by the Society of Family Planning, the average number of monthly abortions nationwide between July 2022 and March 2023 was 79,031, 3.3% less than in April and May 2022, when an average of 81,730 abortions a month were performed.

Cover photo: Collage: SAUL LOEB / AFP & REUTERS

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