Biden to meet virtually with Dem governors on abortion rights
President Biden is expected to meet virtually on Friday with Democratic governors who have moved to protect access to abortion in their states in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision last week to overturn Roe v. Wade.
According to a White House official, attendees will include Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
“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,” the White House official said, referring to Dobbs v. Women’s Jackson Health Organization, the decision that overturned Roe.
Biden arrived back from a six-day overseas trip to Europe on Thursday afternoon. The virtual event will be his first specific engagement on abortion rights since he spoke hours after the Supreme Court ruling last week.
The White House has been engaging with state officials over the past several weeks to discuss restrictive abortion laws and ways to protect access to the procedure.
Friday’s event is meant to showcase actions on the state level to protect abortion rights. Newsom, for instance, recently signed legislation protecting abortion providers from liability. Hochul signed bills to protect out-of-state patients and providers from lawsuits in other states.
The White House has faced pressure from Democrats and advocates who have been frustrated at what they see as a lack of aggressive action to protect abortion rights in the wake of the Dobbs ruling overturning Roe, a nearly 50-year-old opinion that said abortion was a constitutionally protected right.
The Department of Health and Human Services has announced plans to protect access to abortion medication, but some Democrats have voiced support for other ideas, like providing abortion services on federal land and declaring a public health emergency around abortion.
On Thursday, Biden voiced support for a carve-out of the legislative filibuster so that Democrats can pass legislation codifying abortion rights, but that idea is unlikely to gain traction giving the opposition to changing the filibuster from moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).