Biden considering public health emergency declaration on abortion access
President Biden said Sunday that his administration is looking at declaring a public health emergency on abortion access after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month.
“Keep protesting. Keep making your point. It’s critically important. We can do a lot of things to accommodate the rights of women,” the president said while on a bike ride in Delaware, noting that his staff is exploring whether he has the “authority” to declare a health emergency and “what impact that would have.”
President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media as he goes on a bike ride in Gordons Pond State Park in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Sunday, July 10, 2022.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
The president’s comments come after Jen Klein, executive director of the White House Gender Policy Council, appeared to throw cold water on the idea of a public health emergency related to abortion access earlier in the week.
“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 at a White House press briefing on Friday.
WOMEN’S MARCH ABORTION PROTEST NEAR WHITE HOUSE PRESSURES BIDEN TO DO MORE
The president signed an executive order on Friday that expands access to abortion medication and provides protections to women who travel across state lines for abortions.
Abortion-rights protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022.
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Still, the president’s own party has called for more urgent action, including ending the Senate filibuster, setting up abortion clinics on federal property, and packing the Supreme Court.
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“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 Sunday.
Fox News’s Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.