Today’s Executive Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services signed by President Biden signals the US government’s intent to protect women, girls, and all people who may be denied an abortion or criminalized for seeking one.
IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo said:
"Sadly, these efforts provide scant actual protection. The Biden administration is surely sincere in their desire to help women, but today’s meagre offerings demonstrate a shocking lack of imagination and preparation in advance of the current reality. We’ve had over eight months to prepare for the outcome of this Supreme Court."
"Today’s Executive Order should have been the starting line when the judgement first dropped. It should have offered a clear, tangible pathway. It should not be a statement of work in progress, weeks after the loss of constitutional protections. Much of what is being proposed is already being done by non-state actors, many of whom have long been signalling this reality."
The announcement of the Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Health Care Access is also another missed opportunity. We are asking the White House to share how it will direct the State Department and USAID to mitigate the impact of the denial of rights to those who need them further afield. Though the focus on ensuring abortion services within the US remains critical, the Administration must begin work right now with its partners to ensure that the impact on those most vulnerable outside of the US will be mitigated.
Main image by Paul Weaver on Unsplash