Biden says he is considering calling for a public health emergency on abortion

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – President Biden said Sunday he was weighing whether to consider declaring access to abortion a public health emergency, a decision that would appease some members of his party who are calling for such a move, but would do so crack down on some in his government who have said it is an unnecessary step.

Biden, who paused here to speak to reporters during a bike ride, also offered a message to the protesters who were outside the White House on Saturday: “Keep protesting,” he said. “Keep making your point. It is vital.”

“In the meantime, there is a lot we can do to address women’s rights,” he said. “But basically that will only change if we have a national law that reintroduces this Roe v. calf. That is the bottom line.”

Some in his party have urged Biden to declare a public health emergency, a move that would make only a limited difference in policies or actions he might take, but also one that could raise and show the issue how seriously his government takes it.

Some in his government have backed the idea, saying it would draw more attention to the issue. Others were uncomfortable making the statement because it would not unlock significant new policies or resources, the Washington Post reported Saturday in a story examining the two weeks in the White House since the Supreme Court fell Roe v. calf.

But the White House hasn’t ruled out such an explanation, as Biden hinted Sunday.

“I have asked the … medics in the administration to look at whether … I have authority to do this and what the implications would be,” he said when asked for the explanation.

Biden also said he has not yet made a decision on whether to lower some of the tariffs on Chinese goods.

Opening the brief exchange with reporters, the President joked about the last time he rode his bike here near his beach house. In this case, when he stopped near reporters and a assembled crowd, he fell over when he couldn’t get his foot out of a toe cage.

This time his approach was smoother.

“I want you to know something important,” he said with a smile. “I took off the clamps.” Biden says he is considering calling for a public health emergency on abortion

James Brien

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