Washington, Jul 1 (EFE).- President Joe Biden said Friday that if Republicans will control of both house of Congress in November’s mid-term elections they will seek to outlaw abortion throughout the United States.
“So the choice is clear: We either elect federal senators and representatives who will codify Roe, or Republicans who will elect the House and Senate will try to ban abortions nationwide,” he said during a virtual conference with nine Democratic state governors.
Biden met with Kate Brown of Oregon, North Carolina’s Roy Cooper, New York’s Kathy Hochul, Jay Inslee of Washington, Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Dan McKee of Rhode Island, New Mexico’s Michelle Lujan Grisham, Colorado’s Jared Polis and J.B. Pritzker of Illinois a week after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal in the US.
Hochul said that the Democratic majority in New York’s legislature plans to enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution.
While Lujan Grisham said that New Mexico will not cooperate with efforts by neighboring Texas to “criminalize” providers of reproductive health service or with any attempt to punish Texans who travel to her state for an abortion.
People have expressed fears that some Republican governors will try to prosecute anyone who assists a woman to cross state lines to terminate her pregnancy, though no state government has signaled an intention to do so.
Biden, however, appears to view the threat as real.
“I think people are gonna be shocked when the first state … tries to arrest a woman for crossing a state line to get health services,” the president said Friday.
“And I don’t think people believe that’s gonna happen. But it’s gonna happen, and it’s going to telegraph to the whole country that this is a gigantic deal. … I mean, it affects all your basic rights,” he said.
All present agreed that Congress should codify Roe v. Wade by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act.
Departing from his previous position, Biden said Thursday that he would favor creating a limited exception to the Senate’s filibuster rules so the pro-choice legislation can pass by a simple majority, rather than needing to get 60 votes.
The Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-rights think tank, forecast that 26 Republican-controlled states will likely move to outlaw abortion now that Roe is no longer the law of the land.
Planned Parenthood says those 26 states are home to 36 million women of child-bearing age.
But pro-choice groups have launched legal challenges to some of the trigger laws and federal judges have issued injunctions to block the total abortion bans that took effect in Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky and Utah. EFE jdg/dr