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Tipsheet

Biden Administration Weighs Declaring a Public Health Emergency Over Abortion Access

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The Biden administration is considering declaring a public health emergency to protect access to abortion as the country awaits a ruling in a Supreme Court abortion case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. 

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Senior officials within the administration told The New York Times in a report published Thursday that “some of the ideas under consideration include declaring a national public health emergency, readying the Justice Department to fight any attempt by states to criminalize travel for the purpose of obtaining an abortion, and asserting that Food and Drug Administration regulations granting approval to abortion medications pre-empt any state bans.”

These considerations come after a leaked draft opinion from the case showed the justices poised to overturn Roe. In the event Roe is overturned, many states have “trigger” laws in place to restrict abortion. Other states, like CaliforniaColorado and Maryland, are working to expand abortion for out-of-state patients.

Townhall reported this month how Biden said in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel that the federal government would “have to legislate” abortion if Roe is overturned.

“Well, if that occurs, I think we have to, we have to legislate it. We have to make sure we pass legislation making it a law, that is, the federal government says ‘this is how it works,’” Biden said. He then argued that the right to birth control would be next. 

“This is just going to be the beginning, by the way,” Biden continued. “There’s a whole range of things that are at stake here if when we talk about eliminating Roe v. Wade.”

“It’s just ridiculous, in my view,” he went on. “I don’t think the country will stand for it, and I think what we’re going to have to do, there’s some executive orders I could employ, we believe. We’re looking into that right now.” He added that he thinks the decision could create a “mini revolution.”

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Townhall covered how more than 20 pro-abortion Democratic Senators signed a letter to Biden this month urging him to take executive action to protect abortion.

“Abortion access is under attack in the United States and already completely eliminated in swaths of the country. After decades of activism by Republican extremists, the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, reversing nearly 50 years of settled law and eviscerating the right to a legal abortion,” the letter stated.

“Americans across the nation and at every level of government must stand up against this unprecedented assault on women and their right to make decisions about their own bodies and lives. But as President of the United States, you have the unique power to marshal the resources of the entire federal government to respond,” the letter continued. It called the judges who voted to overturn Roe “extremists.”

“Americans across the country are at risk of losing their fundamental rights, including their constitutional right to abortion protected for generations. They deserve no less than a whole-of-government response,” the letter concluded.

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