Washington D.C., Jan 31, 2023 / 16:00 pm
Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill that would prohibit the executive branch from expanding abortion access through a public health emergency, just one day after a Biden administration official floated the idea.
The legislation, which Rubio introduced on Tuesday, would prevent any emergency declaration that was intended to promote, support, or expand access to abortion or punish states that have restricted abortion. It would expressly prohibit the president from declaring a national emergency or an emergency declaration under the Stafford Act and prohibit the secretary of Health and Human Services from declaring a public health emergency for this purpose.
More than 80 Democratic lawmakers have encouraged President Joe Biden and his administration to issue an emergency declaration to expand abortion access. Although the administration has not committed to this approach, Axios reported on Tuesday morning that the Department of Health and Human Services is examining the possibility of declaring a public health emergency for this purpose.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra said there has not yet been a full assessment but that there is an ongoing evaluation into this possible approach, Axios reported.