The president took unilateral action again this week in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to repeal Roe v. Wade and its federal protection of abortion rights. Although his executive powers are limited in this regard, he signed a measure on Wednesday intended to shield pregnant women who cross state lines to get an abortion from prosecution in their home states.
Joe Biden denounced the “chaos and uncertainty” that has surrounded the hot-button political issue since the high court’s ruling earlier this year.
“Women’s health and lives are on the line,” he said, adding that his executive order will, among other things, pave the way for new methods of evaluating “the impact that this reproductive health crisis is having on maternal health and other health conditions and outcomes.”
Multiple states were quick to enact laws that prohibit most abortions after the Roe decision was overturned. Biden’s statement this week reprimanded lawmakers who have pushed for such statewide restrictions across the country.
“Emergency medical care being denied to women experiencing miscarriages, doctors uncertain about what they can do to provide for their patients, pharmacists unsure whether they can fill prescriptions that they’ve always filled before, a tragic case of rape survivors, including a 10-year-old girl forced to travel to another state for care,” he said, referencing the case of a preteen rape victim in Ohio who traveled to neighboring Indiana to end her pregnancy.