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White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the government “has an obligation to codify Roe” but declined to say how such legislation could come about through an almost evenly divided Congress.
Psaki’s response is in line with the government’s general reluctance in this area. In his first 100 days in office, Biden has lifted restrictions on abortion pills, lifted restrictions on funding Planned Parenthood and overseas abortion referrals groups, and removed barriers to medical research into abortion-derived materials fetal tissue is used.
But progressive members of Congress and outside groups say they do Biden’s own silence on this issue impressed him: since taking office, he has not mentioned any abortion in speeches, videos or social media posts. Now they are calling on Biden to speak up – and outline how he will ensure access to abortion when faced with challenges in the Supreme Court and red states driving a new wave of restrictions.
“It’s important that administration is specific,” Planned Parenthood spokesman Samuel Lau told POLITICO. “It is up to them to use the bully’s pulpit to shed light on these attacks and to show their advocacy for access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion.”
Proponents hope Biden will keep his election promise to stand up for federal bills that would be anchored roeProtecting federal law and ordering the Department of Justice to file an amicus letter in the Mississippi case urging the Supreme Court to uphold long-standing precedent for protecting access to trial.
The White House declined to say what steps the government will take to defend the right to abortion.
The abortion fight even depends on Biden’s upcoming budget for fiscal year 2022. Progressive advocacy groups are urging Biden to lift long-standing bans on federal funding for abortions, stressing that the right to abortion is “meaningless” to many low-income people across the country who are banned from using Medicaid to pay for the process.
“I say you want to codify or save roe is not enough, ”said Destiny Lopez, Co-President of All * Above All. “We need a comprehensive plan and vision from Biden for access to abortion in this country. He has to find out what he can do administratively and what pressure he can put on Congress. “
The Supreme Court won’t hear the Mississippi case until fall, and a decision will likely not be made until the following spring or summer leading up to mid-term 2022.
Legal experts and attorneys on both sides of the issue expect judges to drop out – if not completely upset – Roe, noting that the court could have simply dismissed the Mississippi case and the key issue of whether states could ban abortion early in pregnancy if it wanted to allow precedents to be set.
“The Biden administration could wait, but there are many more demands to be made of them,” said Mary Ziegler, a professor at Florida State University Law School who specializes in abortion law. She said the court’s opening of the case will likely speed up talks on expanding the Supreme Court, or at least put pressure on some older liberal judges in the federal judicial system to retire and make way for like-minded, younger lawyers.
Conservative groups say they plan to make abortion and Supreme Court scrutiny a focus of their offerings to flip the House and Senate over the next year in hopes of fueling the anger of religious voters over abortion policy setbacks from the Trump -Era and support for the rally from the Biden government around the Mississippi case, which proponents such as Kristan Hawkins with Students for Life of America described as a “historic opportunity to correct a terrible injustice”.
The court’s decision to accept the Mississippi case could also reinvigorate interest in a proposal that Harris promoted in his campaign to establish a preclearance system under the Voting Rights Act for abortion. States must obtain approval from the Department of Justice before changing the laws related to the procedure. Such a proposal would face great opportunities in the 50:50 Senate, where several moderate Democrats like West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin have shown a willingness to sink high-profile administrative priorities.
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Who is a vocal member of the pro-choice caucus of Congress, told POLITICO that she would urge her colleagues to support her legislation prohibiting states from enacting abortion restrictions, that have no medical justification, and warned that the upcoming Supreme Court ruling could potentially give states the green light to enact such bans on a massive scale.
“We cannot allow an attack roe Open the floodgates for a spate of anti-election laws stifling women’s chances, “said Chu, who plans to reintroduce her measure in the coming weeks.
But each of these steps – from wrapping up the Supreme Court to passing sweeping codification laws roe – Would require the elimination of the filibuster in the Senate, a move abortion rights groups were reluctant to do for fear the tactic might boomerang and allow Republicans to federally bans the process in case they should take control of the chamber to use.
Should the court work with Mississippi to give states the right to ban abortion before the fetus is viable, the process would become immediately illegal in nearly half of the states. This is mainly due to so-called “trigger bans”, which would be forbidden the procedure immediately if roe is invalid.
While the U.S. is already a patchwork of abortion access, where a person’s ability to terminate pregnancy varies by zip code, the expected outcome of the Mississippi case would deepen those differences – especially for those who lack the means to to travel across national borders.
“The Biden government seems to have come to the conclusion that there was no reason for them to say anything about abortion,” said Ziegler. “Up until now it was a little easier for him to do finesse and evasive maneuvers. But if the Supreme Court puts it at the center, it can’t do that anymore. ”