Biden meets with governors today to plan fight for abortion rights

U.S. President Joe Biden holds his press conference at the NATO Summit on June 30, 2022 in Madrid, Spain.
U.S. President Joe Biden holds his press conference at the NATO Summit on June 30, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. Photo credit Denis Doyle/Getty Images

President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet virtually with governors Friday at 10 a.m. PST “to discuss efforts to protect access to reproductive health care,” according to the White House.

“President Biden will join from the White House and talk with governors whose states have moved swiftly post-Dobbs decision to protect women’s reproductive health,” said a White House official cited by FOX News.

According to Axios, abortion is still protected in 16 states in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court majority decision announced last Friday in the Dobbs v.
Jackson Women’s Health case that overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wadedecision. The Washington Post reported last week that around 15 states have “trigger” bans that are expected to go into effect within the month.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee are expected to participate in the Friday meeting, FOX news reported.

You can watch Biden’s meeting with governors here: 

The Supreme Court’s decision is in opposition to public opinion, with recent polls showing that most Americans support abortion access. Earlier this month, a Gallup poll found that “pro-choice” identification reached a near record high after a draft of the Dobbs opinion leaked and another poll found that abortion access is a growing priority for Americans.

“It’s a sad day for the Court and for the country,” Biden said when the final opinion was delivered last week.

He also announced a plan to protect women and people who can get pregnant. This plan includes protection for people who need to travel to get care and protecting access to medication. Additionally, Attorney General Merrick Garland has pledged that the U.S. Justice Department will protect reproductive freedoms.

“Extremist governors and state legislators who are looking to block the mail or search a person’s medicine cabinet or control a woman’s actions by tracking data on her apps she uses are wrong and extreme and out of touch with the majority of Americans,” Biden said last week. “The American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists wrote to me and Vice President Harris stressing that these laws are not based on — are not based on evidence and asking us to act to protect access to care.”

This week, White House staffers and Vice President Kamala Harris met withAttorneys General Dana Nessel of Michigan and Keith Ellison of Minnesota to discuss efforts underway in key states to protect reproductive rights. White House officials met with global reproductive leaders about the Dobbs decision as well.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Tuesday that the department will take steps to increase access to medication abortion per federal law that requires our programs to provide medication abortion in limited circumstances, including life of the mother, rape, or incest.

He also said the Office for Civil Rights within HHS will ensure patient privacy and nondiscrimination for patients seeking reproductive health care, as well as for providers who offer reproductive health care; that the department is working to ensure that clinical judgment of doctors and hospitals is supported in treating pregnant patients, including those experiencing pregnancy loss or complications; and reaffirming that abortion care can be appropriate to stabilize patients and that the department is working to ensure that clinics have appropriate training and resources to handle family planning needs.

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Becerra said he will direct the “Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to take every legally available step to protect family planning care, including emergency contraceptives and long acting reversable contraceptives, such as IUDs.”

According to Axios, some states are preparing for an influx of out-of-state patients seeking care.

In Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker called a special session to further enshrine reproductive rights last Friday.

“To the right wing officeholders who today are cheering the Supreme Court’s ruling: GET YOUR IRON BOOT OFF WOMEN’S NECKS!” he said.

In California and Vermont, lawmakers are working to make abortion a constitutional right.

During an interview this week in Madrid, Biden said he believes that the right to an abortion should be codified into law and that he would support an expectation to the filibuster to make it happen, according to CNN. Democratic legislators attempted to codify abortion rights shortly after the Dobbs leak, but failed.

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