President Joe Biden has directed the Health and Human Services Department to take steps to make sure abortion and contraception medications are available "to the fullest extent possible," and his administration plans to protect the right to travel to another state for an abortion, he said following the US Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, npr reported.
"The health and life of women of our nation are now at risk," Biden said. "Make no mistake. This decision is the culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law."
Biden emphasized that this is the first time the court has revoked a constitutional right, calling it a "sad day for the court and for the country."
"Voters need to make their voices heard," Biden said, calling on them to elect candidates that will restore the right to an abortion at the congressional and local level. "This fall Roe is on the ballot. Personal freedoms are on the ballot. The right to privacy, liberty, equality, they're all on the ballot."
The president said he would look to use his power to protect the women in the states that may ban abortion and more announcements would come in the following weeks.
Biden said the decision was "cruel" particularly for women who become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. "It just stuns me," he said.
He made clear that it would be up to Congress to restore abortion protections for federal law. "No executive actions ... can do that," he said.