Senate

Warren, Smith following SCOTUS abortion ruling: ‘We need action, and we need it now’

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) on Saturday urged President Biden to take action after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade the day prior, writing in an op-ed: “We need action, and we need it now.”

“On Friday, with the release of the Dobbs decision, we entered a perilous time that threatens millions of women across this nation,” the senators wrote in an op-ed published Saturday in The New York Times.

“We urge the president to declare a public health emergency to protect abortion access for all Americans, unlocking critical resources and authority that states and the federal government can use to meet the surge in demand for reproductive health services,” they continued. “The danger is real, and Democrats must meet it with the urgency it deserves.”

The two Democrats also pointed to a letter they had issued earlier this month as a part of a group of more than 20 senators who urged the White House to take executive action to protect abortion rights, listing several ways Biden could do so as the nation waited for a decision from the high court that would ultimately decide the fate of the landmark 1973 ruling. 

“The Supreme Court has spoken: Roe is gone. But the Supreme Court doesn’t get the final say on abortion. The American people will have the last word through their representatives in Congress and the White House,” they wrote.

The senators also urged voters to press candidates on their stances over reproductive rights and for their commitment to changing the 60-vote legislative rule in the Senate ultimately needed to pass most legislation. 

Two moderate Democrats — Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) — have already expressed their opposition over changing the filibuster, however. 

The op-ed comes as the high court ruled on Friday that it would be eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion, overturning a 50-year precedent. 

Biden earlier this month said he was mulling executive action over abortion protections, saying during a taped appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “There’s some executive orders I could employ, we believe. We’re looking at that right now.”

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment. 

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