President Joe Biden is reportedly mulling over the idea of declaring a public health emergency on abortion access. If Biden were to take this step, it would free up federal resources to perform a higher number of abortions.
“Keep protesting. Keep making your point. It’s critically important. We can do a lot of things to accommodate the rights of women,” Biden said during a bike ride in Delaware. Biden also said that his staff are trying to ascertain whether he has the “authority” to declare such an emergency and also “what impact that would have.”
Nancy Northup wrote in The Washington Post that declaring a public health emergency “empowers HHS secretary to issue a declaration that would shield providers, pharmacists, patients and others from liability for their involvement in providing medication abortion in hostile states.”
Jen Klein, who works on the White House Gender Policy Council, appeared pessimistic that declaring an emergency would have much impact on the number of procedures performed.
“When we looked at the public health emergency, we learned a couple of things. One is that it doesn’t free very many resources. It’s what’s in a public health emergency fund, and there’s very little money, tens of thousands of dollars in it. So that didn’t seem like a great option. And it also doesn’t release significant amount of legal authority,” Klein said on Friday during a White House briefing, per CNBC.
Biden has already signed an executive order which makes access to abortion easier for women who want to cross state lines.
“My ultimate goal is to reinstate Roe v. Wade as a national law by passing it through the United States Congress, and I’ll sign it the moment that happens,” Biden told reporters last Sunday. “Ultimately, Congress is going to have to act to codify Roe into federal law.”
Biden also tweeted: “If extremist governors try to block a woman from traveling from a state that prohibits her from seeking the medical help she needs to a state that provides that care, we will act to protect her bedrock rights.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AP NEWS
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