United States President Joe Biden on Friday, 8 July, signed an executive order protecting access to reproductive healthcare services, to ease access to abortions.
This comes two weeks after the country's Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade, a landmark case that constitutionally protected abortion rights for almost 50 years.
The executive order directs the government's health department to expand access to "medication abortion" – pills prescribed to end pregnancies – and ensure women have access to emergency medical care, family planning services and contraception.
It also advocates protecting doctors, women who travel for abortions, and mobile abortion clinics at state borders.
As per a White House press release, Biden's new order focuses on:
Safeguarding access to reproductive health care services, including abortion and contraception;
Protecting the privacy of patients and their access to accurate information
Promoting the safety and security of patients, providers, and clinics; and
Coordinating the implementation of Federal efforts to protect reproductive rights and access to health care
"What we're witnessing wasn't a constitutional judgment, it was an exercise in raw political power," the US president told reporters at the White House.
"We cannot allow an out of control Supreme Court, working in conjunction with extremist elements of the Republican party, to take away freedoms and our personal autonomy," he added.