The White House on Tuesday pushed back against a progressive proposal to use federal lands for abortion services, warning there could be “dangerous ramifications” from the idea.
Progressive Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have floated the idea of using federal lands to perform abortions in states that restrict the procedure. The proposal follows last week’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and allowing states to set their own standards on access to abortion.
Speaking with reporters, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the idea could put both women and abortion providers in legal jeopardy.
“With this proposal — we understand the proposal is well-intentioned — but here’s the thing: It could actually put women and providers at risk. And more importantly, in states where abortion is now illegal, women and providers who are not federal employees, as you look at the federal land, could potentially be prosecuted,” she said.
“As we understand why they would put forward this proposal, there’s actually dangerous ramifications to doing this,” Ms. Jean-Pierre continued.
Instead, Ms. Jean-Pierre told reporters that the administration was “looking at an array of other actions.”
Vice President Kamala Harris also dismissed the idea of providing abortion services on federal lands, when pressed about the idea during a CNN interview.
President Biden last week pledged to do what he can to ensure women can access abortion services, but his power is limited. Any executive order would not be able to stop states that outlaw the procedure.