Biden Considers Declaring Health Emergency For Abortion Access

President Joe Biden announced on Sunday that he is thinking about enacting a public health emergency for abortion access following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade late last month.

“That’s something I’m asking the medical people in the administration to look at, whether I have the authority to do that and what impact that would have,” the president told reporters while taking a break from his bike ride in Delaware over the weekend.

“Keep protesting. Keep making your point. It’s critically important. We can do a lot of things to accommodate the rights of women,” he added before continuing the ride.

His comments came after White House Gender Policy Council director Jen Klein said on Friday that it “didn’t seem like a great option.”

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“When we looked at the public health emergency, we learned a couple of things: One is that it doesn’t free very many resources,” she said. “It’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 great option. And it also doesn’t release a significant amount of legal authority. And so that’s why we haven’t taken that action yet.”

Biden acknowledged not having the power to reinstate Roe v. Wade but signed an executive order on Friday to strengthen reproductive health care services, increase access to abortion pills, laying out how health care services should ensure patient privacy when it comes to giving authorities information and forming a group of volunteer lawyers to help women and health care providers who are charged with having or assisting an abortion.

Rose Carter

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