en. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has introduced legislation to prevent President Biden’s administration from heeding Congressional Democrats’ call to issue an emergency declaration in order to expand abortion access.
Rubio introduced the bill on Tuesday as reporting emerged that the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department was considering declaring a public health emergency after the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing states to determine their own abortion laws. That was one of the requests in a June letter in which Democratic lawmakers also called on Biden to issue a national emergency declaration under the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
It’s unclear how the White House will act, but declaring a national emergency is one of many avenues pro-abortion forces have explored as a way to bypass state abortion laws after the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs. A similar strategy has been explored by left-wing forces urging Biden to declare a national emergency over climate change.
Declaring a national emergency over abortion would likely prompt a slew of lawsuits and political battles with figures like Rubio. In June, he and other GOP senators also introduced legislation to ban the executive branch from declaring national emergencies by amending the National Emergencies Act and Public Health Service Act.
Utilizing federal agencies would also likely undermine the intent of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of most abortions.
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