Immigration and Customs Enforcement is preparing to tell detention centers around the country that women in custody can obtain abortions, The Wall Street Journal reported.
According to a memo from Tae Johnson, ICE acting director, the order also applies to detention centers in states that have prohibited abortion since the Supreme Court’s ruling last month in Dobbs v. Jackson.
”This memorandum serves as a reminder of existing ICE policies and standards requiring that pregnant individuals detained in ICE immigration custody have access to full reproductive health care,” read the letter sent to agency official Corey Price.
”This is also a reminder that, pursuant to existing ICE policy, it may be necessary to transfer a detained pregnant individual within an area of responsibility (AOR) or to another AOR, when appropriate and practicable, in order to ensure such access.”
The anticipated action comes a week after President Joe Biden signed an executive order instructing the Department of Health and Human Services to protect and expand access to abortion medication by mail, according to The Hill.
Biden’s order also instructs the Department of Justice and White House staff to convene litigators and public interest groups in retaliation to laws preventing women from seeking out-of-state abortions.
”Let me be clear. While I wish it had not come to this, this is the fastest route available,” Biden said at a press conference on Friday. ”The fastest way to restore Roe is to pass a national law codifying Roe, which I will sign immediately upon its passage on my desk.”
”We need two additional pro-choice senators and a pro-choice House to codify Roe as federal law. Your vote can make that a reality,” he added.