Biden signs executive order on abortion access


US President Joe Biden has signed an executive order on abortion access, as the issue continues to divide society.

Friday’s move came two weeks after the US Supreme Court struck down the landmark Roe v. Wade and eliminated the constitutional protection of abortion rights for women across the country, reports Xinhua news agency.

The executive order aims to safeguard access to reproductive health care services and protect the privacy of patients and their access to accurate information, among other things, according to the White House.

The presidential order will however, not fully restore abortion rights.

It also directs Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to submit a report within 30 days on those efforts.

The President has also directed the attorney general and White House counsel to convene private volunteer attorneys and public interest organizations to encourage legal representation for those seeking or offering reproductive health services.

Abortion has been one of the most divisive issues in the US.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that the US Constitution generally protects the liberty to choose to have an abortion.

But anti-abortion groups have actively sought to have the decision overturned, engaging in legal and public opinion battles with the other side on the issue over the past decades.

The Women’s March has planned to rally in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to pressure the White House to do more to protect abortion rights.

The rally is scheduled to start at Franklin Square Park in the morning, followed by a march to the White House and a sit-in, according to the organizer.

The group estimated up to 10,000 people will be in attendance.

Since the Supreme Court abortion ruling, at least nine states have instituted a near-total ban on the procedure, with the only exception being danger to the life of the mother.

Other states are now scrambling to protect abortion access amid legal challenges, while abortion clinics are struggling to navigate patchworks of new laws.