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Sens. Warren, Smith urge Biden to declare public health emergency after abortion ruling

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Two of the leading Democratic senators on reproductive rights are urging President Joe Biden to declare a public health emergency as nearly two dozen states will ban the procedure after Roe’s official repeal v. Wade Friday.

In an op-ed published by The New York Times Saturday said Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tina Smith of Minnesota that the emergency declaration would help “protect access to abortion for all Americans” and “unlock critical resources and authority that states and the federal government can use to meet the strong demand for reproductive healthcare.”

Ending the constitutional right to abortion has brought the nation into “a dangerous time that threatens millions of women,” Warren and Smith wrote in the op-ed, adding that “the government — not the person who is pregnant — made the critical decision about the abortion.” whether or not to continue a pregnancy.”

Both senators also proposed changing the court composition, reforming Senate filibuster rules and remaking the electoral college, which they say will allow presidential candidates who lost the popular vote to nominate the five judges who ultimately voted to replace Roeten. to bring down.

“Put simply, we must restore our democracy so that a radical minority can no longer overrule the will of the people,” the senators wrote in the piece. “Roe may be gone, but the protection it once guaranteed is on the ballot.”

Six in 10 Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to a national report NBC News Poll conducted in May after the leak of a draft opinion rejecting Roe and the constitutional right to abortion. In contrast, 37 percent said abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.

Protesters for abortion rights protest along Poplar Ave on June 24, 2022. in Memphis, Tennessee in response to news of the Supreme Court decision that will lift constitutional protections around abortion access.Andrea Morales for NBC News

“The public is overwhelmingly on our side,” Warren and Smith wrote in the op-ed. “The two of us lived in an America without Roe, and we’re not going back. Not now. Never ever.’

Both senators are among more than 20 Senate Democrats who sent a letter to Biden earlier this month, outlining executive steps he could take to protect reproductive freedom. These include providing federal resources and protections for individuals seeking abortion care.

Smith, who previously served as executive director for Planned Parenthood, has also introduced a bill to codify access to abortion pills.

Mithil Aggarwal contributed


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