White House unveils new measures to protect abortion access
WASHINGTON – President Biden unveiled new measures Tuesday to protect access to abortion, 100 days after the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional right to terminate pregnancy, and urged Americans to pressure Congress to pass legislation. which would ensure that abortion is legal across the United States. ,
The action came as reproductive rights have become a central issue in political campaigns across the country ahead of next month’s midterm elections. Democrats overruled the court’s decision in Roe v. Wade to reverse it to prompt voters to elect lawmakers who would expand abortion rights nationally and prevent Republicans from imposing further restrictions.
Calling his task force on reproductive health at the White House, Mr. Biden said: “We are just short of a handful of votes.” “The only way for this to happen is if the American people do it.”
Mr Biden attacked Republican lawmakers who are pushing for a national ban on abortion and urged voters to remember what was at stake if Democrats lost control of power in Washington.
“This means that even if you live in a state where extremist Republican officials are not running the show, your right to choose will be at risk,” Mr. Biden said.
Status of 2022 mid-term elections
With the primaries over, both parties are turning their attention to the general election to be held on 8 November.
Most abortions are now banned in at least 14 states, and others are engaged in legal battles over abortion access. Biden administration officials estimate that about 30 million women of reproductive age now live in a state with restrictions and about 22 million women cannot access abortion care after six weeks.
The White House said Tuesday that the Department of Education will issue a reminder to universities that they cannot discriminate against students on the basis of pregnancy, including termination of pregnancy.
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Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services is announcing $6 million in grants to expand access to family planning clinics that receive Title X federal funding. The White House has asked Congress for an additional $400 million for the clinic.
The White House believes that public sentiment is on its side when it comes to abortion.
A Pew Research Center poll this summer showed that 61 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal in most cases, although the political divide over those questions has become more severe.
In close races across the country, Democrats are raking up the issue. The Super PAC of House Democrats is investing heavily in ads focused on reproductive rights, including a dramatic depiction of the consequences of a national abortion ban. This includes police officers handcuffing doctors, nurses and patients who “demanded or performed health care services that have been legal for nearly 50 years.”
Some Republicans have tried to downplay abortion in favor of a focus on crime and inflation. However, the issue resurfaced last month when Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina introduced legislation that would place a federal ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell has said he does not expect Republicans to try to impose a national abortion ban.
The Biden administration has faced criticism for failing to do more to protect women’s abortion rights following a court ruling this year. Despite calls from some activists to declare a public health emergency to expand abortion access, White House officials remain skeptical about what such a move would achieve and invite new legal fights.
In a memo prior to the announcement, Jennifer Klein, the director of the White House’s Gender Policy Council, laid out some of the steps taken by the Biden administration to preserve access to abortion. He pointed to executive orders defending the right to travel across state lines for abortion and guidance aimed at ensuring that doctors can provide abortions in cases in which patients “present with an emergency medical condition.” are doing” and they need to be stabilized.
But White House officials acknowledged that without Congress there was only so much they could do to protect abortion access and cast reproductive rights as a moral matter.
“I certainly believe that a woman should have the freedom to make decisions about her body and that her government should not make such decisions for her,” Vice President Kamala Harris said at the task force meeting. “Today so called extremist leaders are attacking the freedom and independence of millions of women at the state level.”