Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday announced that President Joe Biden will issue a memorandum to protect medical abortions by ensuring that healthcare professionals are able to prescribe and dispense the abortifacient mifepristone across the United States.
“Republicans in Congress are now calling for a nationwide abortion ban. Some even from the moment of conception,” Harris said during a speech in Florida coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the since-overruled landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: How dare they?”
Harris said the national anthem contains lyrics describing America as “the land of the free and home of the brave,” and she asked, “Can we truly be free if a woman cannot make decisions?”
Mifepristone, which is used in more than half of all U.S. abortions, may be prescribed without an in-person doctor’s visit, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration decision earlier this month.
Biden’s memo directs Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to work with the Justice Department and Homeland Security to consider guidance to support patients and healthcare providers seeking mifepristone regardless of where they live. Biden also asked the agencies to protect pharmacies that dispense the abortifacient.