Read a PDF of our statement here.

Today, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services to defend reproductive rights throughout the country by directing federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security to take a series of steps that include safeguarding access to reproductive care services and protecting patients and their providers.

In response, Legal Defense Fund (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Janai S. Nelson released the following statement:

“In the wake of the Supreme Court’s devastating ruling in Dobbs, which upended precedent and rejected the Constitutional framework that has made abortion access a right for nearly 50 years, LDF commends the Biden Administration for taking these important first steps to provide nationwide support for reproductive freedom, including directing key federal agencies to take necessary actions to protect patients and providers, as well as increasing access to reproductive health care services.

“Welcome and necessary as these actions are, however, they are not sufficient. Indeed, for the millions of Black women, girls, and pregnant people who will be disproportionately harmed by the Supreme Court’s actions, this Executive Order must be the beginning — and not the totality — of a more holistic response. We need swift and aggressive implementation of strategies to ensure that impacted persons receive the unabated care they need. Additionally, we need national legislation to codify the right to reproductive care, including abortion access. If passing this much needed legislation requires amending or eliminating the filibuster, an archaic Senate procedure that already stands in the way of other desperately needed reforms, then we demand that Senators take immediate action to do so.”


Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.