President Joe Biden on Friday said he thinks a Republican-controlled Congress would try to pass a national ban on abortion, reiterating his push to make abortion an election issue in the November midterms.
Biden stated that he predicts a EUR if the Senate is not kept and the House Democratic control is increased. "We're going be in a position where Republicans will pass a nationwide ban consistent with what was ruled by the Supreme Court," Biden stated during a conversation with nine Democratic governors.
Biden stated to the governors that he is open to new approaches to protecting abortion rights and access following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last week.
Biden stated in his opening remarks that he shared the outrage expressed by this court, which is committed to making America less free and more dependent on foreign aid. Biden stated that the attorney general's Office will continue to work to ensure access to contraceptives, abortion medication, and the right to transborder abortion services.
The president was joined by New York's Kathy Hochul and Michelle Lujan Grisham from New Mexico, Illinois' JB Pritzker, Colorado’s Jared Polis, Connecticut’s Ned Lamont, North Carolina’s Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s Roy Cooper, Oregon’s Kate Brown, Rhode Island’s Daniel McKee, Washington's Jay Inslee aEUR", many states that border other states that have triggered laws that will limit or outlaw abortion following the Supreme Court's action
Hochul stated that she hopes her state can be a "safe harbour" for women seeking abortion services. New York has provided $35 million for providers to increase staffing and protect their staff.
Hochul stated that "the rights of millions of females across the country are now falling on just a few states," asking Biden to allow those living in states that restrict abortion to use federal buildings for their services.
Cooper and Lujan-Grisham pointed out that their states already see an influx in patients seeking services from other states.
"Part of this conversation needs to be about what resources are being granted to states that will allow abortion access so they can support both the influx of people, and the people in their state who will require care," Lupe Rod, executive director at National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, told NPR before the event.
It is legal for abortion providers to travel to other states. Some abortion opponents want to make laws that would limit or fight those who facilitate or sought abortion services.
The Health and Human Services Department recently announced $3 million in additional funding to support family planning providers. According to the department, the money will be used to help Title X grantees improve training and technical assistance in order to address any potential impact that the Supreme Court decision may have on Title X Family Planning service delivery.
Xavier Becerra, HHS Secretary, met this week with Governors aEUR” Michigan's Gretchen Whitmer and Oregon's Brown aEUR” to discuss efforts in their respective states. Becerra and Marty Walsh, Labor Secretary, met with representatives of health insurance companies and employees benefit plan leaders to discuss the obligations they have to ensure access to contraception medication in employee plans.
Together with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen they sent a letter reminding insurance industry leaders of their obligation to provide coverage and access to contraceptive counseling and birth control.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris continue to urge voters to consider the Supreme Court decision when voting in the remaining primaries this November.
Biden spoke out on Thursday in favor of removing the filibuster from the Senate to allow for key exceptions such as voting rights or abortion measures. The Senate has been unable to pass a bill that codifies abortion protections in the Senate with 60 votes, so Democrats have failed to gather 10 Republicans.
To change the filibuster rules, 50 votes are required. Some Democrats, including Sens. Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Kyrsten Silena of Arizona have always opposed any attempt to abolish the filibuster.
Biden acknowledged that Democrats do not have the votes in Senate. He urged voters to vote for candidates who could support a bill codifying abortion rights after the midterms.
Barbara Sprunt contributed to the report.