The US Supreme Court is likely to vote on overturning Roe v. Wade any day now. If the precedent is reversed, abortion rights in the United States are likely to take a serious hit. The Democratic party — and by extension the White House — has largely tried to avoid a reversal but with limited options.
A leaked Supreme Court draft opinion suggested that the conservative-dominated bench is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, which would severely restrict abortion regulations. The leak reignited the “pro-life vs pro-choice” debate in the United States.
Also Read: Pro-abortion protestors strip down to underwear amid Roe v Wade turmoil
The US Midterms
Political advisors of US President Joe Biden say a possible Supreme Court ruling overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, as well as recent mass shootings spurring renewed debate over gun violence, could give Democrats two issues that could motivate voters.
But they also acknowledge that one or both might help party candidates clinch already close races — not remake the political landscape nationwide, according to Associated Press reports.
What can the White House do?
According to senior Capitol Hill officials, as quoted by the New York Times, the White House still might have a few cards to play. These can include declaring a national public health emergency, readying the Justice Department to fight any attempt by states to criminalize travel for the purpose of obtaining an abortion.
The White House can also assert Food and Drug Administration regulations and grant approval to abortion medications to pre-empt any state bans, New York Times reported.
Also Read: Why LGBTQ community is concerned over possible Roe v Wade overturning
What the US President can’t do
Biden publicly discussed the possibility of taking executive action. “There are some executive orders I could employ, we believe. We are looking at that right now”, he said at the Jimmy Kimmel show earlier this month. However, “I do not think the country will stand for it”, Biden admitted.
Besides, Biden’s executive orders would largely focus on damage control and supplemental measures. No presidential executive order can re-establish a constitutional right. Only the US Congress has the power to codify a Roe v. Wade-like law, however, this is likely to fail on partisan lines.