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Maine reproductive healthcare providers welcome Biden's executive order on abortion access

Biden Abortion
Evan Vucci
President Joe Biden signs an executive order on abortion access during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Friday, July 8, 2022, in Washington. From left, Vice President Kamala Harris, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco look on.

A new executive order from President Biden that seeks to safeguard access to abortion and reproductive healthcare is important for Maine even though there are state-level protections, according to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.

Spokesperson Nicole Clegg says about a dozen patients from out of state have already made appointments to receive an abortion in the two weeks since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade.

"I have a lot of concern about protecting the safety of people who are traveling to Maine to access care," Clegg says. "And for our providers who are providing that care. I would caution anyone in Maine to think that this somehow isn't impacting us because it is."

Clegg says clinics have also seen an uptick in appointments for IUD contraception among Maine patients

"Because they're afraid that those rights and their access in Maine could go away," Clegg says. "So I just think it's really important to understand that this is impacting how Mainers are feeling and what decisions they're making."

Biden's executive order calls for federal agencies to develop policies to protect abortion access and privacy, as well as volunteer lawyers to represent people who seek and provide reproductive health care. It's unclear how strong the order's protections will be.