U.S. attorney general vows to protect existing reproductive rights

United States Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a press conference announcing a significant firearms trafficking enforcement action and ongoing efforts to protect communities from violent crime and gun violence at the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., June 13, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

WASHINGTON, June 24 (Reuters) - The Justice Department will use every tool at its disposal to protect reproductive freedom, and federal agencies may continue to provide reproductive health services to the extent authorized by federal law, Attorney General Merrick Garland said after Friday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortion.

"This decision deals a devastating blow to reproductive freedom in the United States. It will have an immediate and irreversible impact on the lives of people across the country," Garland said in a statement. "And it will be greatly disproportionate in its effect – with the greatest burdens felt by people of color and those of limited financial means."

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Reporting by Doina Chiacu; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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