“We need action, and we need it now.”
So wrote Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D.Mass.) Tina Smith (D.Minn.), in a New York Times opinion piece published Saturday, one day after the U.S. Supreme Court’s reactionary majority struck down Roe v. WadeImprisoning reproductive freedom other civil rightsMillions of people all over the country.
“The Supreme Court doesn’t get the final say on abortion,” the lawmakers argued. “The American people will have the last word through their representatives in Congress and the White House.”
President Joe Biden denounced the high court’s deeply unpopular 6-3 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Friday, he offered no concrete plans for protecting abortion access beyond urging voters to elect more Democrats in November’s pivotal midterms.
Warren and Smith agree with the president’s contention that protections once guaranteed by Roe are “on the ballot,” but they also insisted that numerous steps can and must be taken immediately to secure people’s ability to control their own bodies.
“Each of us can and should act — both elected officials and everyday Americans,” wrote Warren and Smith, the only senator to have ever worked at Planned Parenthood. “We can start by helping those who need access to an abortion.”
The pair continued:
Support Planned Parenthood, and other organizations that expand their services in states that offer abortion. Contribute towards the funding of abortion. Encourage state legislators to protect reproductive right in states like Minnesota and New Mexico that border areas where abortion services are most likely to be severely restricted or even criminalized. Employers in states that ban abortion should give their employees enough time off and money to travel to obtain the care they need. Do all you can—and demand the same all-you-can approach from all of our elected leaders.
While the Senate’s passage of the House-approved Women’s Health Protection Act, which would enshrine reproductive rights into federal law, depends on convincing Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and other right-wing holdouts to repeal the chamber’s anti-democratic 60-vote filibuster rule, Warren and Smith argued that the White House has the power to swiftly protect access to abortion care.
The duo joined Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and half of the Senate Democratic Caucus for the sending of a parliamentary report earlier in the month. letter to Biden outlining executive actions his administration can take to defend reproductive freedom in the face of the GOP’s onslaught.
Suggested actions, which Warren and Smith reiterated in their new essay, include “increasing access to abortion medication, providing federal resources for individuals seeking abortion care in other states, and using federal property and resources to protect people seeking abortion services locally.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland did his part. suggestFriday’s announcement by the Justice Department that it will take action against states that try to ban Mifepristone (an abortion medication that has been approved in the United States Food and Drug Administration) was made.
Biden, however, is reportedly still considering a number of executive orders, it remains unclear if his administration is planning to subsidize individuals’ increasingly long Trips to out-of state abortion clinics or to federal lands to increase access to the procedure.
Warren spoke at a press conference held outside the Massachusetts State House Friday. told reporters that Biden and congressional Democrats should “explore just how much we can start using federal lands as a way to protect people who need access to abortions in all the states that either have banned abortions or are clearly on the threshold of doing so.”
At least 11 States banned or severely restricted abortion within the first 24 hours of the Supreme Court’s decision. There are fifteen more. expectedTo eliminate or reduce drastically the legal access to abortion in coming weeks, thereby putting the lives at risk health economic well-beingWomen across the U.S.
Addressing a crowd of protestors gathered in New York’s Union Square, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) echoed the idea of using federal property to circumvent state-level abortion bans.
There are “actions at President Biden’s disposal that he can mobilize,” Ocasio-Cortez toldThe crowd. “I’ll start with the babiest of the babiest of the baby steps: Open abortion clinics on federal lands in red states right now. Right now.”
The GOP is open to all actions laying the groundworkFor a federal abortion ban if they take Congress and the White House. This idea is supported by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. open to.
“We need to treat this like the national emergency that it is,” Warren said Friday.
In their opinion piece, Warren and Smith urged the president “to declare a public health emergency to protect abortion access for all Americans, unlocking critical resources and authority that states and the federal government can use to meet the surge in demand for reproductive health services.”
A coalition of Black congresswomen under the leadership of Reps. AyannaPressley (D-Mass.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and Cori Bush (D-Mo.) made a similar pushJust before the high court issued its Friday morning judgment,
The current predicament is the outcome of a 50-year campaign waged by “right-wing extremists [who] rejected the beliefs held by an overwhelming majority of Americans,” Warren and Smith argued. They explained:
We’re in this dark moment because right-wing politicians and their allies have spent decades scheming to overrule a right many Americans considered sacrosanct. Adopting state laws to limit access to abortion care. Personhood rights for fertilized eggs. Threatening criminalization of in vitro fertilization. Bounties offered to doctors who report abortion services providers. Folibuster abuse and the destruction of Congress. Advancing judicial nominees who claimed to be committed to protecting “settled law” while they winked at their Republican sponsors in the Senate. Stealing two Supreme Court seats.
“We can’t undo in five months the damage it took Republicans five decades to accomplish, but we can immediately start repairing our democracy,” Warren and Smith noted.
“We need broad democracy reform,” they emphasized. That means “changing the composition of the courts, reforming Senate rules like the filibuster, and even fixing the outdated Electoral College that allowed presidential candidates who lost the popular vote to take office and nominate five of the justices who agreed to end the right to an abortion.”
“Simply put,” Warren and Smith continued, “we must restore our democracy so that a radical minority can no longer drown out the will of the people.”
“This will be a long, hard fight, and the path to victory is not yet certain,” the pair added. “But it’s a righteous fight that we must win—no matter how long it takes. We lived in America without each other. RoeWe have already moved on, and we won’t be going back. Not now. Not ever.”