Politics Biden administration to convene outside lawyers on abortion rights
Kansas vote could allow ban, but abortion foes mum on plans
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Republicans have spent more than three decades making it as hard as possible to get an abortion in Kansas, and now that their chance to ban the procedure is in sight, they’re reluctant to tell voters whether that's their goal. In the first statewide abortion referendum since the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe vs. Wade, Kansas voters will decide Aug. 2 on a proposed change to the state constitution that would clear the way for its Republican-controlled Legislature to more strictly regulate or ban abortion.
The White House and Justice Department on Friday will host their first meeting with outside lawyers to discuss how to protect those who seek abortions from legal repercussions after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, White House counsel Stuart Delery and second gentleman Doug Emhoff, who is himself a lawyer, will all participate in Friday afternoon’s meeting with attorneys and members of the abortion rights community, the White House said. The outside participants were not immediately named.
Top anti-abortion activist slams GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz for mocking the physical appearance of pro-abortion rights protestors
Gaetz characterized abortion rights protestors as "5-foot-2 and 350 pounds" and said "nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb."And the president of a major anti-abortion group, Marjorie Dannenfelser, has had enough of it.
The group will discuss legal issues surrounding traveling out-of-state for abortions, denial of services, criminalization and reproductive health services, the White House said in announcing the meeting.
President Biden signed an executive order three weeks ago that ordered his administration to convene meetings with pro bono attorneys, bar associations and public interest organizations to encourage legal representation of patients and abortion providers.
Video: House passes bill to protect same-sex marriage in effort to counter Supreme Court (POLITICO)
The came after the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the landmark abortion decision last month.
The group was specifically tasked with discussing how to protect women who travel out of state to receive abortions because of restrictions where they live. Several states are moving to implement restrictions on abortions following the Supreme Court’s ruling.
The Supreme Court will likely enter new territory on abortion rights as thorny questions over rape, interstate travel, and data privacy roil the country
"There are major, important questions yet to be addressed," one legal expert said. "The court still has a lot of work to do in this area."Roe v. Wade, which established a federal right to abortion nearly 50 years ago, was an "abuse of judicial authority" that "sparked a national controversy," Justice Samuel Alito, the author of the monumental June 24 ruling, wrote in the majority opinion.
The White House has been under pressure to do more to provide access to abortion services.
Biden’s executive order in early July order also triggered other actions to protect access to contraception, abortion pills and emergency medical care for pregnant women, and advocates regarded it as a positive step.
Still, the administration has faced calls to declare abortion access a public health emergency and pleas for more information about access to medication abortion.
Vice President Harris has traveled to several states to meet with local elected officials and stakeholders about abortion access, most recently visiting Indiana as state lawmakers considered an abortion ban proposed by Republicans.
Kansas abortion amendment vote seen as a bellwether for post-Roe era .
Voters in Kansas will weigh in directly on the issue of abortion, deciding whether to amend the state constitution to allow greater restrictions on the procedure. Kansas primary election ballots include a proposal to amend the state constitution to explicitly disavow the right to access abortion. It will be the first popular vote on abortion rights in nearly 50 years. In reversing Roe in June, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion should be left to individual states.