After the initial inertia from the US Federal Government, in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade; the legal precedent that safeguarded bodily autonomy across the US; the Biden Administration initiated a range of steps in combating the pro-life movement’s continual push for an archaic land, void of reproductive rights.
Also read: A Leap Backwards in Time
The Administration’s action entails a three-pronged approach, two pillars of whom are already existing federal statutes; the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) and FDA preemption under the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FDCA): to be equipped in the legal arena against states that curtail abortion rights, in addition to communicating with voters on how said curtailments impact women, and how both men and women are negatively affected by forced pregnancies.
The comprehensive action was a culmination of advisers, senior white house officials, and abortion rights advocates having facilitated numerous engagement and strategy calls in recent days, which includes one hosting almost 2,000 people on the 4th of August.
The Legal Avenues
Beginning with the latter statute, the FDA preemption contests that states are not able to ban an authorized abortion drug, due to state law being prompted and overridden by federal law.
As of writing this piece, greater than 30 states have erected legislation curtailing access to medication, therefore the employment of this statute is a dire necessity.
The EMTALA on the other hand targets the health services themselves, with it obligating hospitals, in order to cover persons arriving with an emergency medical condition, to accept medicare funds for medical treatment. Said emergency medical condition includes a woman who is in need of a lifesaving abortion.
Education for the Masses
The public communication part of the plan entails the White House collating research on the mental and physical harms women face if they are refused abortion access, along with the economic effect that unwanted pregnancies can have on women, men and families. All of which would form the content of a persistent messaging plan, communicated to voters.
Focusing upon men, its messaging will request that they consider how their nieces, sisters, and cousins could be affected in the face of unavailable abortion access, in addition to considering the costs related to augmenting an unplanned pregnancy.
Such costs are substantial with the National Bureau of Economic Research, in 2020, finding that women who are forced to carry to term pregnancy are confronted with medical costs from prenatal care, birth, and postpartum recovery, along with the expenditure of raising a child in excess of $9,000 per year.
Religious Americans will be addressed with a differing message, the purpose of what will be informing them that their support of abortion does not necessitate an alteration in their faith, but act as a resistance against government overreach.
A Return to Vitality
Multi-Stakeholder consultation is efficient and wide ranging.
Three phrases that I am, pleasantly so, surprised at using when writing about the US Government, in reference to their plan to safeguard human rights.
While I am at unease with the communication element of the plan imploring men to consider the women in their immediate lives, in order to garner their support, due to the argument that it should not require a man to personally know a woman in order to feel outraged at their bodily autonomy being attacked, desperate times appear to call for desperate measures.
Only time will tell if such action can have a short and long-term impact on people’s mental and physical health, their socioeconomic status, and mindset is willing to act against those who would too readily strip people of their inalienable rights.