WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden told Democratic governors Friday that he is “looking at all the alternatives” for protecting abortion access following the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
One day after returning from international summits in Europe, Biden described the ruling as “tragic” and warned that Republicans could try to enact a nationwide ban on abortion if they retake control of Congress. Biden urged Democrats not to lose two senators to create an exception from the filibuster, and to codify the Roe v. Wade protections in law.
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Two Democratic senators from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, are currently blocking efforts to bypass the filibuster. The party would need unanimous backing from the Senate’s 48 Democrats and two allied independents, plus the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, to make that rules change over solid GOP opposition.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul recommended that Biden think about having abortions done at federal facilities such as Veterans Affairs hospitals and military bases in states where abortion is not permitted.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham stated that Native American tribes have a degree of sovereignty over their lands and could be useful partners.
“We’re in the process of looking at all the alternatives,” Biden said.
He did not announce any changes. Some Democrats and activists have expressed frustration at the overly cautious approach of the administration. This is especially true considering that the draft was leaked almost two months back.
The justice’s June 24 ruling overturned a 1973 decision that had declared a constitutional right to abortion. The state that allows the procedure will decide.
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