The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Tuesday announced the creation of a Reproductive Rights Task Force to help protect reproductive rights after the landmark abortion rights decision Roe v. Wade was overturned.
The task force will monitor all state and local legislatures that violate federal protections for seeking reproductive care. It will ensure the rights of individuals seeking reproductive care in a state where that care is legal. It also protects an individual’s right to advise others about reproductive health services. Federal employees will also be protected from any liability when giving treatments that are allowed by federal law.
The DOJ stated that the force will be collaborating with other agencies and external organizations that advocate for reproductive health. The department made it clear that they will provide legal defensive help when it is appropriate and necessary. This can include helping states to provide protection to out-of-state patients seeking legal reproductive care. The task force will also organize meetings “to encourage lawyers to represent and assist patients, providers and third parties lawfully seeking reproductive health services throughout the country.”
This announcement comes three days after President Joe Biden signed an executive order set to protect reproductive rights by preserving access to medication abortion, ensuring access to medically necessary abortions, and broadening access to contraceptives. President Biden previously called the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade “a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error.”
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta will lead the Reproductive Rights Task Force.