Roe v. Wade: Biden braces for Supreme Court to overturn abortion rights after

The nearing announcement — which is expected to come within the next two weeks as the Supreme Court concludes its term — will punctuate months of contingency planning at the White House and lobbying efforts by abortion rights advocates, who want Biden to take immediate action.

“We must be ready to stand as a united front when the decision comes down,” Vice President Kamala Harris told a group of reproductive rights leaders Wednesday in a videoconference. While she described the myriad hurdles women could soon face when seeking abortions, Harris did not lay out in detail any actions the administration is prepared to take when a decision comes down.

Behind the scenes, the steps the President is considering include eliminating barriers to accessing medication abortion and challenging state laws that criminalize out-of-state travel to receive an abortion, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Harris has heard from privacy experts about how law enforcement could use period tracking apps to monitor for abortions and the possibility that embryo destruction could become more difficult for those who have in vitro fertilization. Advocates for communities of color and undocumented immigrants have raised specific concerns to the White House about women in those groups accessing abortion across state lines. And state lawmakers have pressed for more federal resources to help manage what many describe as a looming crisis.

“We’re exploring every option to respond to the upcoming decision … and to protect access to reproductive health care, including abortion,” White House Gender Policy Council Chair Jennifer Klein told Wednesday’s virtual meeting.

But with a federal law in place barring taxpayer funds from going toward abortion in most cases and a rash of state bans poised to take effect as soon as a Supreme Court ruling comes down, there remains little Biden can do that would fundamentally restore the national right to end a pregnancy. And his calls for Congress to codify the right to abortion lack enough votes in the Senate.

That has left some advocates and lawmakers looking for rhetorical leadership from a President who has, at various points in his long career, shied away from a full embrace of abortion rights. He rarely uses the word “abortion” itself — an absence his aides downplay but that advocates say is still symbolic.

“It’s time for this President — past time for this President and this administration — to name what’s happening as a moral failing in this country and as a public health and human rights crisis. It’s beyond the point of playing politics. It’s time to say the word abortion out loud,” said New Mexico state Rep. Michaela Lara Cadena, who was one of six Western state lawmakers who joined a call with senior White House officials last week to discuss reproductive rights.

New Mexico, a state without any major types of abortion restrictions, stands to receive an influx of patients from neighboring states like Texas should the nationwide right to abortion be eliminated. Cadena’s appeal to the White House was to be prepared to help states like hers as women seeking abortions travel there to look for them.

“It’s going to be a…

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