A group of 25 leftist senators has signed a letter urging President Joe Biden to issue an executive order calling for a federal push to protect people's "right" to have an abortion.
"As extremist judges and Republican politicians intensify their efforts to strip Americans of their basic reproductive freedoms, you can demonstrate to the country and women everywhere that you will do everything in your power to fight back," the letter declares. "We urge you to immediately issue an executive order instructing the leaders of every federal agency to submit their plans to protect the right to an abortion within 30 days. Americans across the country are at risk of losing their fundamental rights, including their constitutional right to abortion protected for generations. They deserve no less than a whole-of-government response."
In the letter, the liberal lawmakers laid out some suggestions for ways that the government could seek to promote abortion access.
"The Department of Justice and all relevant agencies could analyze the types of reproductive health services that could be provided on federal property, especially in states where such services are limited by state law or regulation. The Department of Defense could assess the feasibility of moving military personnel and their families and any authority to ensure that members and their families can access reproductive health care when they need it," the letter stated.
"The Office of Personnel Management could explore requirements that all federal employees are provided paid time off and reimbursement for expenses necessary to access abortion. And all federal agencies—including those who retain custody or control over individuals or provide healthcare to them—could conduct a review of their regulations and policies that limit abortion care and other reproductive health services and promulgate new regulations that expand access to those services," the letter continued.
The lawmakers proposed that federal agencies investigate ways to aid people who travel out of state for an abortion because the procedure is not available in their own states.
"Federal agencies could explore opportunities to provide vouchers for travel, child care services, and other forms of support for individuals seeking to access abortion care that is unavailable in their home state," the letter says.
A previously leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion indicated that the high court is poised to strike down Roe v. Wade, a move that would enable states to ban abortions — some states have trigger laws that would prohibit most abortions if the high court makes such a move.
Signatories on the letter to Biden include Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).