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On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court docket choice overturning Roe v. Wade, some Senate Democrats are pushing President Biden to take “quick motion” to guard abortion rights.
In a letter despatched to Biden on Saturday night, a bunch of 34 senators describe the Dobbs v. Jackson Ladies’s Well being Group choice as “an unprecedented assault on ladies and the results of a long time of activism by Republican extremists.”
The senators acknowledged Biden’s remarks in response to the choice on Friday, which he known as a “unhappy day for the court docket and for the nation.” They name on the president to take “daring motion” and “use the complete pressure of the federal authorities to guard entry to abortion in america.”
“You could have the ability to struggle again and lead a nationwide response to this devastating choice,” the letter says.
In an interview with NPR on Saturday, Washington Sen. Patty Murray mentioned she’d requested the administration to have a governmentwide plan in place on “day one,” as quickly because the Supreme Court docket issued its choice.
“We’re at day two,” Murray mentioned. “We will not wait days or even weeks to get motion for individuals who immediately want this sort of care, are sitting of their properties scared to loss of life, nervous about their very own well being, nervous about their very own financial state of affairs, questioning what the heck they’ll do. Day by day that goes by is sooner or later too many.”
After a leaked draft of the opinion was revealed in early Could, Murray and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren known as on Biden to take govt motion and undertake a “whole-of-government” strategy to defending abortion entry.
They’ve requested the administration to take a number of particular steps that they imagine are inside the scope of Biden’s govt powers. A few of these embrace searching for ways in which federal businesses may develop entry to treatment abortion; serving to with transportation vouchers and different logistical help for folks touring from locations the place abortion is unavailable; and utilizing federal civil rights legal guidelines to guard personal well being and placement information — notably from states the place sufferers looking for abortions might face prosecution.
“We’re asking them to look in each toolbox to find out what they’ll do to be sure that folks can get entry to the care that they want,” Murray advised NPR.
The president’s potential to intervene may very well be restricted partially by the Hyde Modification, a longstanding prohibition on federal funding for many abortions. Biden helps taking away Hyde, however has been unable to get Congress on board.
Biden’s lawyer normal, Merrick Garland, mentioned on Friday that states can’t ban the abortion capsule mifepristone. However Republican-controlled legislatures have been working to prohibit entry to treatment abortion, together with passing legal guidelines that preclude using telehealth to prescribe the capsules.