Biden says he is weighing executive orders on abortion rights
President Biden said late Wednesday that he is considering signing an executive order on abortion rights if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade later this month, offering a window into the administration’s thinking as officials prepare for the ruling.
“There’s some executive orders I could employ, we believe. We’re looking at that right now,” Biden said during a taped appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” prompting a round of applause from the audience.
Biden did not expand on what executive orders he is considering. He also urged voters to vote Republicans out of office come November so that Democrats can pass federal legislation codifying Roe v. Wade.
“It’s clear that if, in fact, the decision comes down the way it does and these states impose the limitations they’re talking about, it’s going to cause a mini revolution and they’re going to vote a lot of these folks out of office,” Biden said.
His comments come after a group of Democratic senators led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) wrote to Biden on Tuesday urging him to sign an executive order “directing the federal government to develop a national plan to defend Americans’ fundamental reproductive rights, including their right to an abortion.”
The White House has been quietly preparing for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling 50 years ago that said the right to have an abortion was constitutionally protected.
The preparations intensified after a leaked draft opinion published by Politico in early May showed that the conservative majority on the court was poised to overturn Roe.
White House officials have been meeting with state officials, abortion rights advocates and other stakeholders to understand the laws on the ground in various states.
The White House has said that it plans to take some kind of action in response to the ruling but has offered few clues about what it will look like. Administration officials are not expected to lay out plans until after the ruling is issued sometime later this month, before the end of the Supreme Court’s current term.
Still, experts say the Biden administration is severely limited in what it can do to counteract restrictive abortion laws in states if Roe is overturned. Thirteen states have so-called trigger laws restricting abortion that will take effect if Roe is overturned, and more states are expected to pass restrictions once the ruling is issued.
Experts say, for example, that the administration could allow the use of Medicaid funding to pay for time off and travel for women who need to seek an abortion out of state or could expand guidance on the use of abortion pills.
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