The Biden administration uncorked Tuesday a host of federal guidelines and grants aimed at increasing access to abortion as the White House marked 100 days since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade.
The Health and Human Services Department announced $6 million in research grants to “protect and expand access to reproductive health care,” while the Education Department underscored its policy under Title IX banning discrimination based on “pregnancy and related conditions,” including abortion.
“We’re not going to sit by and let Republicans throughout the country enact extreme policies to threaten access to basic health care, and that’s why we’re all here today,” President Biden said at a meeting of the White House Reproductive Rights Task Force.
He and Vice President Kamala Harris sat in on the task force meeting featuring pro-choice doctors to tout the administration’s work combating what she called “health care crisis in America” triggered by the high court’s ruling June 24 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Mr. Biden, who characterized the ruling sending abortion lawmaking back to the states as “a fairly extreme decision,” inserted a plug for voters to support abortion-friendly candidates in November.
“I’ve said before, the court got Roe right 50 years ago and Congress should codify the protections of Roe and do it once and for all,” he said. “But right now we’re short a handful of votes, so the only way it’s going to happen is if the American people make it happen.”
Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, accused the administration of “using every tool available to them to ensure there is more unlimited abortion on demand in our nation.”
Two dozen Republican-led states have enacted abortion restrictions affecting nearly 30 million women of child-bearing age, including 22 million who are barred in most cases from obtaining abortions after six weeks’ gestation, according to the White House.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, phrased it another way, saying “two dozen states are poised to protect the unborn and their mothers, saving as many as 200,000 lives a year.”
She added that “radical Democrats led by the Biden-Harris administration are determined to use the full weight of the federal government to impose abortion on demand until birth with no limits, paid for by taxpayers, nationwide. Their agenda is wildly out of step with America.”
The HHS Office of Population Affairs awarded $2.85 million in Title IX Family Planning Research Grants to five organizations, including the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute, as well as $1.2 million in grants on teen pregnancy prevention and $2.15 million in Research-to-Practice Center grants on improving adolescent health.
“These new research grants will provide insights that will help our community partners provide essential, client-centered reproductive health services,” said Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel L. Levine in a statement.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona issued a “resource for students and schools” emphasizing that schools receiving federal funding cannot discriminate against pregnant students or those who terminate pregnancies, a policy in place since 1975.
“It’s clear the Dobbs ruling has sown fear and confusion on our college campuses,” said Mr. Cardona at the meeting. “I worry about the chilling effect this uncertainty, including about access to birth control, will have on students.”
Mr. Biden bashed the University of Idaho for a memo last month warning that staffers could be prosecuted for promoting abortion or dispensing emergency contraception while on campus under the state’s No Public Funds for Abortion law.
“Folks, what century are we in? I mean, what are we doing? I respect everyone’s view on this, the personal decisions they make, but my lord, we’re talking about contraception here,” Mr. Biden said. “It shouldn’t be that controversial, but this is what it looks like when you start to take away the right of privacy.”
The university memo referred to providing drugs classified as emergency contraception, which pro-lifers call abortifacient because they prevent a fertilized embryo from developing.