U.S. abortion rights advocates fuming over Biden, Democratic response to looming threat -Breaking
Andrea Shalal, Gabriella Borter, and Nandita Bose
WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Frustration at President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party for their apparent lack of leadership in abortion rights will likely fuel months of planned nationwide protests, activists claimed.
Two weeks ago, a shocking Supreme Court leak revealed that the conservative majority may soon overturn the 1973 landmark Roe V. Wade decision which established abortion rights. Protesters were energized by this prospect and marched through the nation on Saturday to mark the beginning of “summer of Rage”, according to organizers.
The Supreme Court leak revealed that both the Democrats and Biden have failed to present a coherent plan to address such a decision. They asked Biden for a stronger, more vocal response in a national reaction to possible ruling.
“I would like to see the White House say,‘We are holding an emergency summit with every Democrat in this country because we are going to pass a federal law that guarantees abortion rights,’” said author and women’s rights advocate Mona Eltahawy.
“I am astounded at the lack of urgency, generally, whether it is from the Biden White House or the Democrats at large,” she said.
Biden, a Catholic and a devout Catholic has stated that he opposes abortion but believes that women have the right to make their own decisions. Some activists think that Biden was a reluctant supporter of this issue because he doesn’t often speak publicly about it.
The disappointment is made worse by the fact that Democrats have had ample time to prepare. Since decades conservatives have made it clear that they want to ban abortion completely. Women’s rights organizations have warned for years about the potential consequences of having a majority of conservatives on the Supreme Court.
“Their constant solution is, ‘Well, just vote in November.’ I cannot stress to you enough how offensive it is to be asked to hope…that they win in November, they take office in January and eventually they come up with a solution,” said Renee Bracey Sherman of We Testify, an organization that promotes open discussion about abortion.
In recent years, women in America have switched to the Democratic Party. According to Pew Research, 56% of women registered voters identified themselves as Democrats in 2018 or 2019, up from 48% back in 1994.
Last year, Reuters and Ipsos polled Democratic women to find that abortion rights is the topic they would be most upset about if their government acted against them. About 60% believe that abortion should be legalized in all or some cases.
Critics, as well as elected officials, stated that the Supreme Court’s threat to restrict abortion access, despite widespread opposition, shows how ineffective Democrats were.
“Where is our Democratic Party?” In the days following the May 2 leak, California Governor Gavin Newsom questioned. Why aren’t you standing firmer and more determinedly?” This is why we aren’t calling it out. Republicans are coordinating a concerted effort. They are winning.
This week, the Senate rejected a Democratic bill that would have guaranteed abortion rights. According to political strategists, there’s little chance such legislation will pass next year, except Democrats win 60 Senate seats. Or if Biden agrees to stop the filibuster in Congress. They can’t pass a bill without a simple majority.
Already, the White House has ruled out what women’s rights advocates had hoped for as a last chance. This would have meant expanding the Supreme Court in order to compensate the conservative majority.
SURPRISE IN THE BLACK HOUSE
Reuters reported that officials in all levels of the Biden administration were surprised by the harsh language used for the court’s draft ruling. Although some had expected that the Supreme Court wouldn’t fully repeal Roe v. Wade, the draft made it clear that this was their intention.
Officials said that inside the White House there was a consensus that it would be difficult to overthrow the opposition of Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, which is crucial to the end of the filibuster.
Biden’s Gender Policy Council is an advisory group on gender equality that works with the president.
Biden has been considering options such as expanding access to drugs for medical abortion and increasing funds for women on lower incomes that travel for the procedure.
According to one White House adviser, however, there is no plan that can be implemented to ensure the protection of abortion rights nationwide.
Biden is also facing a generational gap. Biden made rare remarks about Roe v. Wade, which focuses on privacy. But many Gen Z and millennial young voters who are most likely to require abortion services think differently. Amanda Klasing is Human Rights Watch’s associate director for women’s rights.
She stated that privacy is not the best option.