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What has Biden said about abortion policies?

President Joe Biden has signed a memorandum to reverse some of Donald Trump's anti-abortion policies, which he called an "attack on women's health access".

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on tackling climate change as White House climate envoy John Kerry and Vice President Kamala Harris listen in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Kev

During his first days in office, President Joe Biden has signed a raft of executive orders aimed at reversing actions taken by his predecessor Donald Trump.

In his first week in office, Biden put his name to 24 executive orders in total, much more than his contemporaries . These have included executive orders on rejoining the Paris Agreement on climate change, on promoting racial equity, on obligatory mask-wearing on federal property, on canceling the controversial Keystone XL pipeline permit, and banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

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Biden rescinds Trump anti-abortion policies

On day nine, Biden signed another progressive policy with the memorandum on expanding access to reproductive health care, which immediately revoked a policy reinstated by Trump that blocks federal funding to NGOs that carry out abortions or provide abortion counseling or referrals.

Since the policy was first announced by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, it has been regularly reinstated by Republican administrations and rescinded by Democratic administrations.

Furthermore, Biden instructed the Department of Health and Human Services to analyze the possible reversal of a Trump policy that overhauled the Title X program, which led to the withdrawal of funding from any health centers that offered or referred patients for non-elective abortions, like Planned Parenthood.

US President Joe Biden signs executive orders on health care, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 28, 2021.
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US President Joe Biden signs executive orders on health care, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 28, 2021.MANDEL NGANAFP

The memorandum will "reverse my predecessor's attack on women's health access," Biden told reporters during a signing ceremony in the Oval Office.

He added that the measure "relates to protecting women's health at home and abroad, and it reinstates the changes that were made to Title X and other things making it harder for women to have access to affordable health care as it relates to their reproductive rights."

In a statement earlier, the White House said Biden was taking these actions actions "to support women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States, as well as globally".


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