US President Joe Biden addresses the nation at the White House in Washington, DC on June 24, 2022 following the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
President Joe Biden plans to highlight the GOP’s push to roll back access to abortion in a speech Tuesday marking 100 days since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade’s constitutional right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
More than a dozen Republican-led states — most of which don’t allow for exceptions for rape or incest — have effectively banned abortions since the court’s Dobbs v. Jackson ruling that gave that authority back to the states. The changes have affected nearly 30 million women of reproductive age, 22 million of whom cannot access abortion after six weeks, according to the White House.
“Extreme abortion bans are having consequences that extend beyond abortion, including reports of women being denied access to necessary prescriptions and contraception at pharmacies and on college campuses,” Jennifer Klein, director of the White House Gender Policy Council, wrote in a memo before Biden’s meeting with his Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris plan to speak at the event, rolling out new guidelines from the Department of Education reminding universities of their requirements to protect access to abortion as well as $6 million in new grants to protect and expand reproductive services, according to Klein’s memo.
The speech comes a month out from the midterm elections where Democrats are at risk of losing control of one or both houses of Congress. The move sheds a spotlight on the administration’s work on abortion access and is seen as giving a boost to candidates locked in tight races.
Some Republicans in Congress are looking to further restrict abortion access. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina recently proposed a national abortion ban that would have the penalty of jail time for doctors who perform them.