WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is highlighting his administration’s efforts to protect access to abortion as he marks 100 days since the Supreme Court overturned a national right to the procedure and Democrats hope the issue will galvanize their voters ahead of the midterm elections.
Biden on Tuesday will attend the second meeting of the Cabinet-level task force he stood up to coordinate the government’s response to the ruling, the White House said, and will announce two new steps meant to “protect access to reproductive health care.”
Still, Biden is set to remind Americans that only Congress can restore access to abortion nationally, which forms a central argument of Biden’s pitch to voters frustrated by the Supreme Court ruling to send Democrats to Washington.
The Education Department is sending guidance to universities reminding them that federal law requires that they “protect their students from discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, including pregnancy termination.” The Department of Health and Human Services will also release $6 million in new funding to promote family planning services.
In conjunction with the meeting, Jennifer Klein, the director of the White House’s Gender Policy Council and the leader of the White House task force, issued a new memo to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris outlining the effects of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade and allowed states to ban abortion.
“Close to 30 million women of reproductive age now live in a state with a ban — including nearly 22 million women who cannot access abortion care after six weeks, before most women know they are pregnant,” she wrote. “Extreme abortion bans are having consequences that extend beyond abortion, including reports of women being denied access to necessary prescriptions and contraception at pharmacies and on college campuses.”