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AP way out front with Biden’s executive order on abortion

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. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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White House reporters Seung Min Kim and Zeke Miller teamed up to scoop the Washington press corps on the highly competitive announcement of President Joe Biden’s long-awaited executive action to protect abortion access.

For weeks,pressure had been building on Biden to take more aggressive action to protect access to abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. White House aides kept promising Biden would do more, but there was no word of what or when. Then White House reporter Kim — highly experienced but working just her third day on the job for the AP — received a cryptic but detailed evening tip saying Biden would sign the executive order the following day.

Armed with that unconfirmed information,Kim and White House colleague Miller went to work with their administration sources. The pair was able to pull together enough confirmed information from three sources to go to the wire at 11 p.m. — eight hours before other news organizations were able to report the same details from an embargoed fact sheet distributed by the White House for morning release.

That beat,an eternity in Washington coverage,allowed AP to own the story into the morning hours,generating a flurry of overnight tweets highlighting AP’s scoop, which was also showcased in news outlets’ morning newsletters.

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