WASHINGTON — A group of Senate Democrats sent a letter to President Biden on Saturday urging him to take “bold action” on abortion rights, a day after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion case. legalized across the country.
Thirty-four senators signed the letter, calling on the president to “take immediate action” and “use the full power of the federal government to protect access to abortion in the United States.” The letter, led by Washington Sen. Patty Murray, emphasized the urgency of the issue, citing the numerous states whose trigger laws have already made abortion illegal and the potential for other states to soon follow suit.
“We need the president and all of his cabinet secretaries immediately to have detailed plans about what to implement so that people can get the information they need,” Ms Murray, the chair of the Senate health committee, said in an interview. . “It’s frustrating because with this decision, it’s imperative now that women get the information they need today.”
This month, ahead of the court’s ruling, more than 20 Senate Democrats sent Mr. Biden a letter urging him to issue an executive order that would defend abortion and reproductive rights. They suggested the federal government could take steps to increase access to medication abortion and provide resources to people seeking abortion care out of state, such as traveler’s checks, and other actions.
With an evenly split Senate, Democrats have little hope for legislative action on abortion rights — leaving the president’s executive branch, limited as it may be, one of the few options at the federal level to try and reverse the effects of the ruling’s ruling. court to mitigate.
While a bill aimed at increasing reproductive rights and codifying abortion rights in Roe passed the House last fall, it failed to purge the Senate last month despite opposition from all Republicans and one Democrat, Joe Manchin III. West Virginia. Mr. Manchin has expressed his support for codifying Roe, but Democrats still need the support of 10 Republicans to pass the 60-vote threshold needed to pass most bills in the chamber.
“We don’t have the votes at this point to overturn this decision,” Ms Murray said. “That’s why the November elections are so crucial.”
Speaking to Air Force One reporters on Saturday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Mr Biden would continue to seek legal advice on what executive action he might take. But she stressed the need for congressional action in response to the court’s ruling.
“The reality is we have to get Congress to act to reinstate Roe, to make it the law of the land,” she said.