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USA: Executive order good news for abortion rights but greater access to healthcare urgently needed

Responding to the news that President Biden signed an executive order that makes strides to safeguard access to abortion and protect patient privacy, Tarah Demant, Interim National Director of Programs, Advocacy, and Government Affairs at Amnesty International USA, said: 

“We welcome President Biden’s vital step to protect access to safe and legal abortion through executive order. Still, more must be done to ensure that women and girls who become pregnant have full access to healthcare.

“This includes providing more resources to support people in need of abortion care, including expanding telehealth services for those seeking medication abortions and access to abortion for low-income people.

“The Department of Justice and Health and Human Services (HHS) must fulfill its promise to safeguard abortion services by aggressively pursuing legal action against any and all roadblocks to abortion access at the state level - including bans on medication abortion and out-of-state travel for abortion care.

“Beyond this, the Department of Justice must examine all federal pathways to prevent state efforts to criminalise abortion care - including the use of federal property and resources to provide reproductive healthcare in states with severe restrictions.

“While we welcome the administration’s commitment to protecting patient privacy and access to accurate information, it must also consider tech companies - including Meta, Google, and Twitter - as central partners to these efforts.

“Action to regulate tech companies’ censorship of online information about abortion is urgently needed, as we have already begun to see the devastating effect of this anti-abortion landscape on all facets of society, including access to online information.

“As more states rush to pass anti-abortion legislation, Amnesty also renews its calls on the Biden administration to declare a national public health emergency. Until then, we remain vigilant and will continue to hold the administration accountable to their promises to protect safe and legal access to abortion.” 

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