Biden and Harris praise Kansas voters for rejecting anti-abortion amendment

Biden made his remarks virtually during the first meeting of the interagency task force on access to reproductive health care, as he grapples with a rebound case of Covid-19 and after testing positive again Wednesday morning.

Vice President Kamala Harris, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Health Secretary Xavier Becerra, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough also attended the meeting.

Kansas’ failed amendment comes as the Biden administration moves to protect pregnant women who travel to access reproductive care. Biden signed an executive order at Wednesday’s meeting that would consider ways to protect pregnant women who must travel out of state for an abortion if their state prohibits it.

The order directs Becerra to work with states to assist people who must travel out of state for reproductive health care. It also directs HHS to consider providing Medicare waivers for abortion procedures for pregnant women who must travel out of state for the procedure.

“What we do know is that there’s a need for clarity around the rights of individuals and states right now,” Harris said. “We know there are concerns about what kind of support is available in terms of federal resources to the various states that are protecting women’s rights, and what our administration can do to support that.”

Speaking about Tuesday’s election, Harris said: “The people of Kansas spoke yesterday, and they spoke loud and clear. They said this is not a partisan issue. The women of America shouldn’t do the l object of a partisan debate or perspective.

“The people of Kansas have spoken, and so this is a matter of standing up for the fundamental principles of liberty and liberty in America,” Harris added. “And they spoke loudly saying they trust women to make decisions about their own lives and bodies.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also addressed the Kansas vote during her daily briefing.

“We have seen a lot of momentum over the past 24 hours in our fight to restore deer,she says. “Americans in Kansas came forward to challenge opinions that would set the country back, with fewer rights and politicians invading our most personal decisions, and they won.”

The state’s rejection of the amendment represented something of an upset victory for abortion rights activists. Kansas is a state that voted twice for Donald Trump and registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by nearly 2 to 1.

“The president has been very clear that to protect our rights or codify deer, we need to make sure our voices are heard,” said Jean-Pierre. “That’s what you saw, you saw the power of the American people last night. It’s incredibly important. It wasn’t planned, what we saw last night.

The administration and abortion rights activists also filed lawsuits in Florida and Idaho on Tuesday, challenging restrictive anti-abortion laws in the respective states.

Church groups are lawsuit in Florida, claiming that the state’s 15-week abortion ban violates constitutional rights to free speech, freedom of religion, and separation of state and church.

The Department of Justice leads the legal fight in Idaho, arguing that state law violates federal law compel doctors to provide pregnant women with medically necessary treatment, including abortion.

There were also a pair of wins for both sides of the argument this week in Michigan and Kentucky. On Monday, a Michigan judge blocked the state from enforcing a more than 90-year-old law on the books that would ban abortions. On the same day, a few states to the south, a court in Kentucky reinstated a near-total ban on abortions.

“Ultimately, Congress needs to codify the protections of deer as federal law,” Biden said Wednesday. “And if Congress does not act, the people of this country must elect senators and representatives who restore deer and protect the right to privacy, liberty and equality.