Biden and Harris Reaffirm Backing for Reproductive Rights a Year After Dobbs
Author: Trudy Ring
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have highlighted their commitment to reproductive freedom ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade and its national guarantee of the right to abortion.
“President Biden and Vice President Harris stand with the majority of Americans who believe the right to choose is fundamental—and who have made their voices heard at every opportunity since the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization,” said a statement released by the White House Friday. “As the President has made clear since the day of the Dobbs decision, the only way to ensure women in every state have access to abortion is for Congress to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade.”
There was an attempt to do that last year after a draft of the Supreme Court decision was leaked in May 2022. A bill writing Roe‘s provisions into federal law passed the U.S. House, which then had a Democratic majority, but failed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate. The final decision was released June 24, 2022.
Since the Dobbs decision, in which the high court upheld a restrictive Mississippi abortion law and revoked the protections of Roe, at 18 states have banned or severely restricted abortion, by the White House’s count. More than 23 million women of reproductive age — one in three — live in one of those states, according to the White House statement. Of course, transgender men and nonbinary people also sometimes need to access abortion.
“They have been turned away from emergency rooms, forced to delay care, and made to travel hundreds of miles and across state lines for needed medical care,” the statement says of the affected population. “Despite this devastating impact on women’s health, Republican elected officials continue to advance these bans at both the state and national level.”
The Biden-Harris administration has vowed to fight back. Shortly after the Dobbs ruling, the president issued two executive orders aimed at protecting access to reproductive health care, including abortion. Friday it issued another executive order, one designed to improve access to high-quality contraception.
The Friday order directs federal agencies to consider new guidance to assure that private insurers cover contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration without cost sharing by those insured. It also calls for strengthening coverage under Medicare and Medicaid and steps to improve access to over-the-counter contraceptives.
Earlier actions by the administration aim to make sure veterans, service members, and people in emergency situations have access to abortion and other reproductive health care services. It also has defended reproductive rights in court, including in a case involving the FDA approval of mifepristone, a drug used in medication abortion. A lawsuit seeks to have that 23-year-old approval revoked, and a federal judge in Texas ruled that it should be, but his ruling is on hold while it is appealed. If the drug is no longer FDA-approved, it would be unavailable nationwide.
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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring