“Vote, vote, vote!”: For Biden, the defense of abortion and freedoms goes through the ballot box
Criticized for his defense of the right to abortion, deemed timorous, Joe Biden tried on Friday to regain the initiative, with a muscular speech on the need for a massive electoral mobilization in the next legislative elections against an “out of control” Supreme Court and the “extreme” projects of the Republicans.
“For the love of God, there is an election in November, vote, vote, vote,” the American president asked at the White House. Clearly, he demanded a strong Democratic parliamentary majority, which he does not have today.
“This is the fastest way” to restore the right to abortion in all the country, via a federal law, he said, in this second speech since the highest American court dynamited on 24 June the jurisprudence which, since 1973, protected the right to abortion throughout the United States.
If the Republican Party won these mid-term elections in November, and instead voted for a law banning abortion across the country, and no longer just in conservative states, Joe Biden has promised to veto it.
His intervention, the pretext of which was the signing of a decree with a limited scope on access to abortion, was above all for the president an attempt to regain control in the face of insistent criticism in his own camp.
Many Democrats and activists believe Joe Biden and his administration should take more dramatic action. Or failing that, be more politically aggressive, which the 79-year-old Democrat, a moderate who loath blows, tried to do on Friday.
– “Raw political force” –
He unleashed his punches on an “out of control” Supreme Court and said its decision on abortion was “not a constitutional judgment but an exercise in brute political force.”
He also castigated the “radical” positions of the Republican Party. “Now is the time … to protect the nation from an extremist project”, which could also call into question the right to contraception or marriage for all, said Joe Biden.
Joe Biden then signed an executive order to protect access to abortion. But the initiatives he presented have only a limited scope, in a country where presidential power, however great it may seem, does not weigh heavily against the powers of the States, if it cannot also rely on the judiciary and the legislative power.
The White House promises to “fight digital surveillance”, the potential use of private data against women who have had abortions.
The text signed on Friday also plans to protect mobile clinics practicing abortion at the external borders of states that have banned it; ensure access to the morning after pill and IUDs; and to organize a network of volunteer lawyers.
– Creatives –
Will this attempt at electoral mobilization by Joe Biden succeed, coming from an unpopular president, and while galloping inflation is the biggest concern of households?
Shortly after Joe Biden’s speech, Jen Klein, adviser in charge of issues related to abortion, had a complicated time during the daily White House briefing.
“We have taken an important step today and we continue to examine all options that would be legally relevant,” she said. But she struggled to explain the concrete scope of the decree signed on Friday, and to justify that the text comes two weeks after the decision of the Supreme Court, yet predictable since a draft had leaked in the press before.
The Women’s March organization, which wants to demonstrate in front of the White House on Sunday, reacted very coldly to Friday’s announcements.
These are “necessary first steps but it is far from enough. (…) I call on the administration to realize the urgency. Be creative!” said Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director of the association.
The boss of the House of Representatives and figure of the Democratic camp Nancy Pelosi has promised to vote next week on two pieces of legislation: one to enshrine a right to federal abortion and the other to protect women who leave their home. State to have an abortion. But these texts will never see the light of day, for lack of a strong enough parliamentary majority.
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