US President Joe Biden approached his administration on Sunday to discuss whether he has the authority to declare an abortion-related health emergency after Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court, according to a Reuters report. 

Biden was approached by reporters while he was out cycling near his residence in Delaware and asked about whether he would consider declaring a public health emergency on issues relating to abortion. He told reporters that he had asked his staff to find out whether he had the authority to do so and what the potential consequences of declaring such an emergency would be. 

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The President told reporters that he had a message for those who were protesting for abortion rights outside the White House, saying that they needed to keep protesting and keep “making their point” as it was “critically important.”

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Should his staffers find that he has the ability to do so, the 79-year-old might move to declare abortion a public health emergency. A move that might come on the heels of his recently signed executive order that makes access to abortion services easier.

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The Democrat has been under fire by members of his own party to intervene in last month’s historic ruling. More liberal party members like Alexandria Oscario-Cortez have been outspoken in their protests against the ruling. The Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district had said that “people will die because of this decision,” in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned nearly 50 years of protections for women’s reproductive rights. 

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In June 2022, the Supreme Court overturned the long-standing 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, handing over the decision of abortion to state legislatives. A draft of the ruling had leaked online a month prior. Following the announcement of the official ruling, protests broke out across the country as people took to the streets decrying the Supreme Court’s move, which now has a more conservative bend.