Democrats urge Biden to take ‘bold steps’ to protect abortion

SCOTUS after Dobbs
Participants in a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington DC hold signs expressing their position on abortion following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, June 24, 2022. |

Dozens of U.S. Democratic senators are pressuring President Joe Biden to use his authority to defend abortion access after several states passed policies to ban or restrict post-cancellation abortions of the United States Supreme Court Roe vs. Wade.

A day after the nation’s high court issued a majority opinion saying there is no constitutional right to abortion and upheld Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, 34 senators signed on a letter calling on Biden to “take immediate action” and use “the full force of the federal government to protect access to abortion in the United States. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., led the letter .

The letter denounces the fact that many states have “trigger laws” that prohibit abortion as soon as the court has issued its decision. Several states have already enacted these laws, and more will likely follow.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than 20 states had abortion-free laws on the books that can go into effect in the absence of deer.

“Now is the time for bold action to protect the right to abortion,” the senators wrote.

“You have the power to fight back and lead a national response to this devastating decision, so we call on you to take every action available to your administration, across all federal agencies, to help women access abortions. and other reproductive health care, and to protect those who will face the greatest burdens from this devastating and extreme decision.”

A month before the decision, more than 20 Senate Democrats, including Murray and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., pressed Biden to order the federal government to develop a “national plan” to protect abortion.

“Now is the time to act just as boldly to protect abortion rights,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote.

“The Biden-Harris administration has led on reproductive rights issues with the creation of the White House Gender Policy Council, the release of the first-ever national strategy on gender equity and equality, and the launch of a whole-of-government response to Texas’ draconian law stripping residents of their constitutional right to abortion.”

“Nevertheless, the dramatic escalation of attacks on abortion access – led by judges, lawmakers and right-wing activists – demands comprehensive and creative strategies from all corners of the federal government,” they continued. .

The senators’ list of strategies include increasing access to chemical abortion and helping women who travel for out-of-state abortions. They also called for a reproductive health ombudsman at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) who “could educate the public and analyze data collected by HHS on access to reproductive services.”

The letter proposed allowing abortionists to perform abortions on federal property in states where the practice is prohibited.

Vice President Kamala Harris said in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on Monday that the White House is not currently discussing whether to allow abortion centers to operate on federal land.

Last year, the House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that would have codified abortion rights into federal law.

The Senate failed to get the 60 votes needed to invoke closure and begin debate on the bill, with Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va. join Republicans in opposing the bill.

In a February statement, Jennifer Popik, director of federal legislation for the National Right to Life Committee, said the law would have “nullified[ed] almost all existing protective state laws.

“With this bill, elective abortion would have become the procedure that must always be facilitated – never delayed, never hindered in the slightest degree,” she said.

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