Here’s what Biden’s order means for birth control and abortion access

Hundreds gathered in downtown Tuscaloosa to protest the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, on Monday, July 4, 2022. (Ben Flanagan /

People who need access to medication abortions and birth control in the wake of Roe have new protections under a new executive order from the Biden White House. The executive order aims to protect and expand access to medication abortions and birth control methods like the pill.

Here’s what you need to know about the executive order:

  • It protects access to contraception and medication abortions (abortion pills)
  • It protects patients’ right to data privacy related to their online searches about abortion and contraception
  • It protects patients’ right to life-saving abortions
  • Coordinates federal agencies to improve patients’ access to reproductive healthcare

“This was not a decision driven by the constitution,” Biden said in his remarks Friday morning of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. “The practice of medicine should not be frozen in the 19th Century.”

The order comes as Biden has faced criticism from some in his own party for not acting with more urgency to protect women’s access to abortion. The decision in the case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned the court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

Since the decision, Biden has stressed that his ability to protect abortion rights by executive action is limited without congressional action.

“Ultimately, Congress is going to have to act to codify Roe into federal law,” Biden said last week during a virtual meeting with Democratic governors.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Anna Beahm

Anna Beahm |

I report on the intersection of religion and sexuality in America. Follow me on Twitter @_AnnaBeahm

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