WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 80 congressional Democrats are calling on President Biden to issue a public health emergency on abortion. This comes after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“That’s more of a scientific decision and certainly we would all be open to that,” that’s how Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D- CA) responded when asked about a letter congressional Democrats sent to Biden on issuing a national public health emergency on abortion.
In the letter, Democrats warn this ruling is not limited to health systems in states where abortion is illegal. The letter also states: “abortion providers have reported that patients in need of abortion are seeking care in other states, causing unprecedented strain on limited resources and delaying care for residents.”
The letter adds that just like the COVID pandemic’s public emergency, this emergency declaration can provide significant new authority and flexibility for a federal emergency response. However, it’s unclear how federal dollars could be used in this emergency. Over the weekend, Biden said he is looking into it.
“From top to bottom, this ruling was the gigantic step forward for human dignity and for the rule of law,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R- KY).
Meanwhile, Republicans and those on the pro-life side of this issue said it should be left up to the states to decide but House Democrats are still pushing to codify Roe into law.
“A woman’s health decisions are her own, they don’t belong to politicians in Washington, D.C., state capitols or in the Supreme Court of the United States,” said Pelosi. “They belong to a woman, her family, her God, her doctor, her loved ones.”
Pelosi said the House will vote on the bill that would codify Roe into law. This would be the second time the House will vote on it. It’s likely it will pass again but last time around, the Senate couldn’t get enough votes to move it forward. If that bill does move to the Senate, we expect that bill to once again fail.