The action takes place exactly two weeks after the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Rowe vs. Wade – As a wide range of states shut down access to the procedure, abortion doctors are moving their practice around the country, and progressives are getting angrier that the administration hasn’t done more to respond sooner.
“We have received a lot of empty words from this administration and all the manipulative calls to ‘just vote’ are not enough,” said Sharmin Hossain, campaign manager Liberate Abortion Coalition, a group of over 150 reproductive rights organizations. “We can’t wait 190 days [until the election]. People need care right now, and this waiting could mean life or death for people.”
Activists like Hossein and Democratic representatives in Congress and around the country pushed the Biden administration to go further. sending letters Biden is asking for travel vouchers and other financial support for people crossing state lines for the procedure, and is pleading for him to lift the FDA’s remaining restrictions on abortion pills, which include a requirement that any pharmacy dispensing the drug must obtain a special license. Democrats also lobbied the Pentagon allow military personnel who are in states that have banned abortion or plan to do so to take time off to travel for the procedure, while some governors longing for the White House update drug import regulations to protect people who might travel to Canada for abortion pills.
They also asked the White House to look into the legality and logistics of leasing federal lands or federal facilities like Veterans Affairs clinics to abortion providers to restore access in red states.
“The urgency of action must match the emergency of the moment,” Morgan Hopkins told All*Above All. “Now people need abortions. Every minute of every day since this decision was made, people are denied help. The voters are watching very closely how their elected officials are going to appear before them right now.”
David Lim contributed to this report.