Biden, doctors say new abortion laws have a relaxing effect

WASHINGTON, Oct 4 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden and top White House officials on Tuesday announced new guidelines and grants to protect abortion and contraceptive rights, saying women’s rights have already been curtailed since the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade 100 days. since.

In a meeting of the Reproductive Rights Task Force with Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden said the decision to repeal women’s constitutional right to abortion has had frightening ripple effects in some states, including limiting one teenager’s access to medication she needed for arthritis. “We will not sit back and let Republicans across the country enact extreme policies,” he said.

Abortion bans have gone into effect in more than a dozen states since the court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling on June 24. Nearly 30 million women of childbearing age now live in a state with a ban, including nearly 22 million women who cannot access abortion care after six weeks, it said.

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The meeting, held with doctors, lawmakers and White House officials, focused on how millions of women cannot access abortion services, face shrinking access to contraception, and how doctors and nurses face criminal penalties for perform abortions.

The Supreme Court ruling “created a health care crisis in America,” Harris said. “What we’re seeing in laws around our country is the criminalization of doctors and health care providers,” she said, noting that some states had reverted to abortion laws that were in place before women had the right to vote.

“Clearly, the Dobbs ruling has sown fear and confusion on our college campuses,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said.

Officials talked about new guidelines for universities from the Department of Education to protect students from discrimination based on pregnancy and $6 million in new grants to protect access to reproductive health services from the Department of Health & Human Services.

“I’m forced to turn away patients,” Dr. Nisha Verma, an obstetrician based in Georgia.

“I’ve had teenagers with chronic medical conditions that make their pregnancy very high-risk, and women… who get a terrible diagnosis of fetal abnormalities cry when they find out they can’t get their abortion in our state, and asking me to help them,” she said.

Democrats are increasingly hoping that the Supreme Court ruling will boost voter support in the midterm elections in November.

About 71% of Americans — including majorities of Democrats and Republicans — say decisions about terminating a pregnancy should be left up to a woman and her doctor, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed in June.

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Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan, Heather Timmons and Aurora Ellis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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