WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President Joe Biden will announce new guidelines and grants to protect reproductive rights on Tuesday, and describe how abortion rights have been curtailed since the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to terminating pregnancies.
He will be speaking at a meeting of the reproductive rights task force, also to be attended by Vice President Kamala Harris, that is being held 100 days after the landmark Roe v. Wade judgment.
The meeting will focus on how millions of women cannot access abortion services and doctors and nurses are facing criminal penalties for providing such services, according to a White House official and a letter shared by the White House.
The letter to the president was from Jen Klein, the head of the inter-agency task force on abortion access.
At the meeting, the president will also speak about new guidelines for universities from the Department of Education to protect students from discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and $6 million in new grants to protect access to reproductive health care services from the Department of Health & Human Services.
The letter from Klein said abortion bans have gone into effect in more than one dozen states since the court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling on June 24. Nearly 30 million women of reproductive age now live in a state with a ban, including nearly 22 million women who cannot access abortion care after six weeks, it said.
The letter also notes efforts by Republican lawmakers such as Senator Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., to issue a nationwide abortion ban.
Democrats are increasingly hopeful that the Supreme Court decision will boost voter support in November’s midterm elections.
A Pew Research Center poll in August showed abortion rocketing up as a priority for Democratic voters — from 46 percent in March to 71 percent.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)