Biden says he’s considering declaring health emergency over abortion access – National
President Joe Biden said Sunday he was considering declaring a public health emergency to free up federal resources to promote access to abortion, even though the White House said it didn’t seem like « a great deal. » option ».
He also sent a message to those enraged by last month’s Supreme Court ruling that ended a constitutional right to abortion and who demonstrated across the country: “Keep protesting. Keep making your point. It is extremely important.
The president, in remarks to reporters during a stop on a bike ride near his family’s beach house in Delaware, said he had no power to force the dozen States with strict restrictions or outright bans on abortion allow the procedure.
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« I don’t have the authority to say we’re going to reinstate Roe v. Wade as the law of the land, » he said, referring to the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a nationwide right to ‘abortion. Biden said Congress should codify this right and that for it to have a better chance in the future, voters should elect more lawmakers who support abortion access.
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Biden said his administration was trying to do “a lot of things to respect women’s rights” after the decision, including considering declaring a public health emergency to free up federal resources. Such a move has been pushed by advocates, but White House officials have questioned both its legality and effectiveness, and noted it would almost certainly face legal challenges.
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The president said he asked officials « to see if I have the authority to do this and what impact it would have. »
On Friday, Jen Klein, director of the White House Gender Policy Council, said that « didn’t seem like a good option. »
« When we looked at the public health emergency, we learned two things: One is that it doesn’t free up a lot of resources, » she told reporters. “That’s what’s in the public health emergency fund, and there’s very little money — tens of thousands of dollars in it. So that didn’t seem like a good option. And it doesn’t release a significant amount of legal authority either. And that’s why we haven’t taken that step yet.
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