President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Friday that seeks to protect access to abortion, but said voters will have to elect more pro-choice senators in order to restore the rights that existed under Roe v. Wade.
The executive order directs the secretary of Health and Human Services to come up with a plan to expand access and publicize information about abortion, including medication abortion.
At a signing event at the White House, Biden also denounced the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe, calling it “terrible, extreme and I think totally wrongheaded.” He also said he believes the right to an abortion is “embedded in the Constitution.”
“The court now practically dares the women of America to go to the ballot box and restore the very rights they have just taken away,” Biden said. “The fastest way to restore Roe is to pass a national law codifying Roe.”
Biden said voters will have to elect two more pro-choice senators to pass such a law. He also became animated when discussing a recent case in which a 10-year-old rape victim had to be transported out of state to receive an abortion.
“This isn’t some imagined horror — it’s already happening,” he said. “Imagine being that little girl … A 10-year-old girl should be forced to give birth to a rapist’s child? I can tell you what I know. I can’t think of anything that’s much more extreme.”
Numerous states across the South and Midwest have already banned abortion outright, while others have imposed bans after six or 15 weeks. Several of the bans are on hold pending litigation, and some legislatures are considering additional restrictions.
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