President Joe Biden intends to sign a second executive order on Wednesday to address the recent Supreme Court decision to abolish the countrywide constitutional right to abortion, as Democrats encourage him to be more tough on the subject.

The directive, like his previous, is projected to have minimal effect if states in the United States pass legislation limiting abortion, access to medicine, and financing for such treatments.

Last month, Biden declared the Supreme Court was “out of control” after overturning Roe v Wade in June, thus erasing a half-century of safeguards for women’s reproductive rights. His first directive, issued in early July, instructed the federal government’s health department to increase access to medication abortion and safeguard women who travel for abortions. 

The most recent step expands on those measures, but, like the first, it is unclear how it will be implemented. According to a senior administration official, it orders the Health and Human Procedures Department to explore utilizing monies, including Medicaid, to subsidize women going out-of-state for abortion services.

It also mandates the agency to guarantee that health-care providers follow federal non-discrimination rules while providing such services, as well as to gather data to assess the effect of the verdict on maternal health, according to the source.

The directive will be signed by the president at the inaugural meeting of the interagency task group on reproductive healthcare access, which was established in July.

Senate Democrats rejected Biden’s request to repeal the chamber’s “filibuster” rule, which requires 60 of the chamber’s 100 senators to agree on most legislation before they can pass legislation establishing a nationwide right to abortion.

In an equally split Senate, US Vice President Kamala Harris has the power to break a tie.

Since then, Biden has shifted his focus to persuading people to elect more Democrats to Congress in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, when Republicans are expected to retake control of the House of Representatives and maybe the Senate.

Democrats believe that the issue would motivate Americans to vote in November.

According to Reuters survey, women Democrats prioritize abortion rights. More than 70% of Americans believe the decision should be left to a woman and her doctor.

On Tuesday, Biden’s Justice Department filed a lawsuit in Idaho to overturn a state statute that it claims imposes a “near-absolute ban” on abortion, marking the department’s first legal challenge to state abortion legislation since the Supreme Court judgment. 

Source: Reuters

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