President Joe Biden told reporters on Sunday that he was considering declaring a public health emergency over access to abortion.
“That’s something I’m asking the doctors in the administration to consider, whether I have the authority to do it and what impact it would have,” Biden said while answering questions on a bike ride. in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, according to ABC News.
The administration had previously filed the idea, fearing it would be seen as a publicity stunt that would result in legal action, according to a Bloomberg Law report.
“There are a lot of things we can do to uphold women’s rights. In the meantime, basically the only way to change that is to have a national law that reinstates Roe v. Wade,” Biden said Sunday. “Keep protesting. Keep making your point. It’s extremely important.”
Declaring a public health emergency is one of several steps abortion advocates have called on Biden to take following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, reversing a nearly 50-year-old ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith called on Biden to “declare a public health emergency” the day after the June 24 Supreme Court ruling.
“We urge the President to declare a public health emergency to protect access to abortion for all Americans, unlocking critical resources and authority that states and the federal government can use to respond to rising demand for reproductive health services,” the senators wrote in a op-ed for the New York Times.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus made a similar call in a letter to Biden ahead of the court’s final ruling, calling on the president “to use every tool at your disposal to protect basic reproductive rights and access to abortion.”
Biden signed an executive order on Friday directing the Department of Health and Human Services to protect access to abortion care, including medical abortion and access to contraception, Insider previously reported. He urged people to vote in November’s midterm elections.