Exactly two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that abortion is not a constitutional right, President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Friday aimed at promoting access to abortion nationwide.
The order furthers the Biden administration’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the high court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, which Biden has decried as “extreme” and “totally wrong.”
Biden’s edict calls for expanded safeguards for access to drugs that end the lives of unborn children, the establishment of an interagency task force to coordinate protections for abortion access, and the assembling of volunteer lawyers to represent women and abortion providers.
The executive order came on the same day a Louisiana judge lifted a block on the state’s “trigger law,” which prohibits abortion in the Bayou State except when a pregnant woman’s life is in danger. Louisiana’s abortion ban had been issued just days after the Supreme Court decision, which now allows state legislatures to regulate abortion.
About half of the 50 states have enacted similar bans, with three others being temporarily blocked. Already, 17 state prohibitions are in effect after Roe’s reversal, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) reported in an article published Friday on its website.
Biden’s executive order largely finalizes what has already been announced by the administration—including instructions to the Justice Department to make sure women can travel out-of-state for abortion care.
Margorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, charged that Biden “has once again caved to the extreme abortion lobby, determined to put the full weight of the federal government behind promoting abortion. Long gone is the Democratic Party of ‘safe, legal, and rare.’”
Biden has continuously faced heavy criticism from Democrats for not taking more forceful action protecting abortion, particularly in light of the fact that the decision handed down by the high court on June 24 was leaked in early May.
Hannah Daniel, Southern Baptist public policy specialist, told the Baptist Press that the president’s action on Friday is his administration’s way of holding on to a harmful past.
“Rather than taking this opportunity to begin building a true culture of life that serves and cares for mothers and their children, Biden and his administration insist on clinging to a past that saw women preyed upon and the lives of vulnerable children snuffed out,” Daniel said.
The ERLC, which had objected to earlier Biden administration initiatives to protect abortion rights after Roe’s fall, will continue to advocate in opposition to “these actions and will work until a culture of life prevails in our nation,” Daniel said.
“Government is instituted to protect our rights, including the right to life,” she continued, “and that is the path so many states are pursuing with their laws defending preborn lives. Instead of attempting to thwart these policies, they should be replicated in every state at the federal level.”
Denise Harle, director of Alliance Defending Freedom’s Center for Life, said that Biden’s executive order spreads “harmful misinformation” and focuses on protecting abortion clinics instead of investigating and prosecuting perpetrators who recently have committed violence and vandalism against pregnancy resource centers.
The order “is a monumental misuse of resources that could instead be channeled toward actually helping pregnant mothers who need support so that they don’t feel like abortion is their only choice,” Harle said in a written statement.
In announcing his actions on Friday, the president urged women specifically to practice their “political power” by showing up to vote in record numbers this November, stating it’s the “fastest way” to reverse the court’s ruling by giving congressional Democrats the majorities they need to codify abortion rights into federal law.
And last week, Democrat governors urged Biden to use federal facilities and land for abortion services.
“What am I talking about?” asked New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. “Veterans hospital, military bases and other places where the federal government controls the jurisdiction in some of the states that are hostile to women’s rights, and make sure that those services can be available to other women.”
Among other Democrat Party proposals have been calls for a declaration by Biden of a “public health emergency” and the opening of abortion clinics on federally-owned property. Thus far, the administration has declined to take those steps.
“Thankfully there are checks and balances in place that limit the role the Biden White House can play to use the federal government to usurp the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing states to make their own laws protecting unborn children,” said Connor Semelsberger, director of federal affairs at Family Research Council.
Semelsberger told The Washington Stand that Friday’s executive order “proves this administration is willing to test those limits in the name of pushing abortion on demand throughout our nation.”
Above: President Biden signs an executive order promoting access to abortion nationwide on July 8.
Photo: UPI/Alamy Live News