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President Biden Signs Executive Order on Abortion Care as Access and Privacy Remain a Concern

The executive orders aims to protect your data privacy, ensure access to contraception, and ensure access to reproductive health services.

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President Joe Biden signs an executive order on abortion access on July 8th.
President Joe Biden signs an executive order on abortion access on July 8th.
Photo: Evan Vucci (AP)

President Joe Biden signed an executive order in an effort to protect access to reproductive health care services. This comes after the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, ending the constitutional right to an abortion, effectively giving individual states more power to regulate abortion access.

“This was not a decision driven by the constitution, this was not a decision driven by history,” President Biden said. “The truth is today’s Supreme Court majority is playing fast and loose with the facts.”

President Biden delivered his remarks on a live stream where he outlined what the executive order will do. The order aims to do the following: safeguard access to reproductive health care services which includes contraception and abortion, protect patient privacy, promote the safety and security of patients as well as providers and clinics, and coordinate the implementation of Federal efforts to protect reproductive rights and access to health care.

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President Biden has previously made it clear that there is little he can do as his options to expand abortion access are limited, and has commented that it’s on Congress to restore the protections of Roe as federal law. He also called on people who are upset with the reversal of the landmark decision to vote.

“Your vote can make that a reality, when you read the decision the court has made it clear, it will not protect the rights of women,” the president said. “The court now dares the women of America to go to the ballot box and restore the rights they took away.”

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One of the executive orders is also asking the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on data brokers that sell private information. Last month a group of senators introduced a bill that would ban data brokers from selling health and location data of Americans. And According to CNN, three U.S Representatives are asking for information from five health-tracking app companies and five data broker companies regarding how they collect, retain and sell personal health data.

The three House lawmakers Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (who is also the chair and member of the House Oversight Committee), Rep. Carolyn Maloney, and Rep. Sara Jacobs, for example have asked health-tracking app companies for “documents and communications concerning the actual or potential production” of sexual health or reproductive data, voluntarily or through a legal request.

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“The collection of sensitive data could pose serious threats to those seeking reproductive care as well as to providers of such care, not only by facilitating intrusive government surveillance, but also by putting people at risk of harassment, intimidation, and even violence,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter reviewed by CNN.

People have worried about their data on apps like period trackers, wondering whether the information could be used prosecute women who have sought abortions. The executive order and investigation hope to ease people’s minds.