Biden Administration Seeks to Bypass State Abortion Laws

By Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues

President Biden has directed his administration to enable access to abortion throughout the U.S. in any and all ways it can following the Supreme Court’s decision to return lawmaking on abortion back to state and federal legislators. The Biden-Harris administration has been scheming how to bypass state limitations and bans on abortion in order to secure access to abortion across the U.S.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland is focusing attention on the ability of women seeking an abortion to travel to other states and on working to enable and expand access to abortion-inducing drugs. The Attorney General said, “And we stand ready to work with other arms of the federal government that seek to use their lawful authorities to protect and preserve access to reproductive care. 

In particular, the FDA has approved the use of the medication Mifepristone. States may not ban Mifepristone based on disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about its safety and efficacy.”

His statement against bans of Mifepristone—the first drug in the RU 486 regimen—suggest a potential legal fight with states seeking to outlaw the drugs.

Garland emphasized that while peaceful protest is a right protected by the First Amendment, violence and threats of violence are not saying, “The Justice Department will not tolerate such acts.”  The Attorney General committed that the Justice Department “will work tirelessly to protect and advance reproductive freedom.” 

He explained that under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, the Justice Department “will continue to protect healthcare providers and individuals seeking reproductive health services in states where those services remain legal. This law prohibits anyone from obstructing access to reproductive health services through violence, threats of violence, or property damage.”

He failed to mention opposition to the violence being committed against pregnancy care centers across the U.S.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, outlined the first five actions of the Biden administrations explaining that there is “no magic bullet” but said that “if there is something we can do, we will find it and we will do it at HHS. Indeed, that was the instruction I received from the President of the United States.”

The specific actions Becerra mentioned include increasing access to abortion-inducing drugs through federally-supported programs and services in all states— regardless of state laws banning abortion—for women who request them in cases of life of the mother, rape, or incest, exceptions allowed under federal law. He said that healthcare providers will be sent information about the abortion drugs misoprostol and mifepristone regardless of state laws.

Becerra stated that he is also exploring how to use the Emergency Medical Treatment Act to enforce access to abortion in emergency rooms in all states to ensure abortion is provided in cases of pregnancy threatening health or life. 

HHS has unveiled a controversial website dedicated to abortion access, including for underage girls—ReproductiveRights.gov. The homepage broadcasts: Know Your Rights: Reproductive Health Care and explains that abortion and access to birth control are “an essential part of your health and well-being” and that while Roe was overturned the site acknowledges that “abortion remains legal in many states, and other reproductive health care services remain protected by law.”

Visitors are directed to the website AbortionFinder.org which even targets girls—ages 15 and younger— to locate a nearby abortion provider or determine if they should obtain abortion pills via telehealth with no in-person meeting.

A note on the site explains that Abortion Finder is operated by Bedsider, “a digital platform that provides information about birth control, sex, and sexual health–basically everything you need to have a healthy, happy sex life.”

It explains that for some, “an abortion with the abortion pill feels more like a ‘natural’ process because it’s similar to an early miscarriage” and others “choose an abortion procedure because it is more likely to be effective than the abortion pill, especially as you get closer to 11 weeks pregnant, which is when the pill stops being an option.”

Abortion Czar Vice President Harris continues to work to build pro-abortion coalitions along with Jennifer Klein, White House Gender Policy Council Director, and Julie Chavez Rodriguez, White House Intergovernmental Affairs Director, a project begun before the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade. The trio have hosted dozens of meetings designed to motivate pro-abortion activism and advance pro-abortion legislation.  The roundtable discussions have included state attorney generals, state legislative leaders, constitutional law, privacy, and technology experts, faith leaders, health care providers, disabled activists, youth leaders and others.

Elected state legislators discussed specific policy measures they would advance including “expanding coverage of abortion care and protecting the safety and security of doctors and clinics.”

Harris and Senior Administration officials assure meeting participants of the Biden’s administration’s commitment to work together to protect and expand access to abortion in the months ahead.