US President Joe Biden, forced to take a tougher stance on protecting access to abortion, will sign the executive order. Friday suggesting new but limited measures to strengthen women’s reproductive rights.
Biden has been criticized within his own Democratic Party for his alleged inaction following a landmark Supreme Court ruling late last month that ruled on abortion across the country.
Biden will sign an executive order that aims to “protect patient privacy, including by addressing the transfer and sale of sensitive health-related data (and) combating digital surveillance associated with reproductive health services,” the White House said in a statement. .
The president’s hands are largely tied to the thorny issue, as some conservative states have already banned or severely restricted abortion after the Supreme Court overturned the right to abortion established 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade.
Biden’s order also aims to protect mobile clinics deployed along state borders where abortion is banned, guarantee access to contraceptives and abortion drugs, and build a network of volunteer lawyers, the White House said.
When the ruling was made public, Biden called it a “tragic mistake” and announced two regulatory packages: access to abortion pills and women’s right to travel to another state for an abortion if their own state bans the procedure.
But since then, Biden has largely remained silent on the contentious issue.
Members of his own party have been critical of Biden, calling for more aggressive action, or at least a more assertive stance on protecting access to abortion.
Biden will give a speech on Friday about the latest measures, starting with a pledge to protect sensitive women’s health data and fight digital surveillance, the White House said.
Advocacy groups warn of the risks associated with online data about women, such as their location and apps that track their menstrual cycles, which they say could be used to prosecute women who have had abortions.