After the victory of reproduction rights on the ballot in Kansas last night when even Republicans overwhelmingly voted no, President Biden has announced sweeping new executive orders to further secure protection of those rights across the US. This might seem well-timed, but the vote in Kansas was expected to be close either way. Instead, we got general election level turnout and an overwhelming win for the pro-choice side.
Coming on the heels of that win, President Biden’s new executive order has put together a task force to work with federal agencies and ensure the safety of patients traveling out of state for medical care, ensuring providers comply with federal non-discrimination law, and promoting research as well as data collection on maternal health outcomes.
While there has been a large call to codify Roe, this can’t really happen without legislation that can rather easily be overturned by a SCOTUS that makes no qualms about how defiantly right-wing they’re willing to go. There’s unfortunately not going to be an easy fix for some time, particularly with conservatives eyeing the moment to do everything they’ve worked towards – even going so far as an outright federal abortion ban.
While the general public is largely with the Democrats on this issue, and giving them considerable momentum in the polls, it’s also hard to go into an election and just talk about how bad your opponent is without gaining some leverage over them. Sure, Republicans are bad but how are you going to stop them? With this being the second major executive order the president has issued on reproductive rights, candidates have a way to answer and something to expand on.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making