The White House says that it’s working with a “broad range of groups” to try to ensure that abortions continue to be legal across the United States.
The announcement comes after a draft majority Supreme Court opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked on May 2.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on May 6 that the Biden administration is working to see “what levers we have in government” to respond if the 1973 decision that made abortion legal throughout the country is, in fact, overturned by the Supreme Court.
“What our effort and our focus is on is on broadly engaging about the specifics on possible actions and preparing for the release of a final opinion,” Psaki said, noting that the release is expected early this summer.
She said the White House Gender Policy Council is leading the charge, working with -pro-abortion activist groups and private businesses, as well as officials in state and federal government to see what options the administration has if Roe is overturned and states become able to make their own decisions regarding abortion access.
The press secretary, who is stepping down, also noted recent developments in state legislatures.
Psaki pointed to President Joe Biden’s “whole of government” response to oppose a new law in Texas banning most abortions and Biden’s support of a new law, signed on May 5 by Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, meant to allow women to get an abortion in Connecticut if they’ve been denied in another state.
“Obviously, our preference would be for Congress to codify Roe and, of course, for the final opinion not to look like the leaked opinion,” she said. “But we are also supportive of states. We’re going to work with a broad range of stakeholders as we prepare for a final opinion to be released.”
Psaki’s comments come a day after she avoided condemning the unprecedented Supreme Court leak during a line of questioning at a White House press briefing.
She also didn’t condemn protests that were planned at the homes of Supreme Court justices.
“I don’t have an official U.S. government position on where people protest,” Psaki said on May 5. “I want it—we want it, of course, to be peaceful. And certainly, the president would want people’s privacy to be respected.”
The Supreme Court, along with Republican members of Congress, have called for the leaker of the draft opinion to be brought forward and to face consequences.
John Malcolm, vice president of the Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Constitutional Government, told The Epoch Times on May 3 that while Biden’s authority may be “limited” when it comes to issuing an executive order on abortions, he noted that Biden “might” be able to issue a rule governing what happens on federal properties.