Following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the Biden administration is mulling over the possibility of using public funds to subsidize the travel expenses of women living in states where abortions may be illegal.
This is to allow these women to obtain abortions in other states. This action is certain to give rise to a number of legal questions.
On Sunday, Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Xavier Becerra was the one who first brought up the prospect.
Then, on Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris brought it up in an interview with CNN. Both parties have stated the specifics are still being ironed out.
“Also, we understand that in this problem, women who have access to services will likely be far less inconvenienced by this judgment than women who don’t have access to services,” Harris said.
Becerra first suggested the strategy during an interview with NBC journalist Kate Snow at the Aspen Institute on a Sunday.
Snow questioned Becerra on the actions the president is taking in reaction to Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court to reverse Roe v. Wade and put an end to the constitutional right to abortion in the United States.
Becerra stated, “we are collaborating with allies on the ground to ensure that we are assisting women wherever we can and this is currently being done.”
“We are investigating everything, including providing assistance with transportation, which is something that HHS generally does not do.”
Snow questioned whether or not it was lawful for them to do so.
Biden HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra says his agency is "looking at" using taxpayer dollars to fund transportation to other states for abortions.
"Can you do that legally?"
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 27, 2022
Becerra greeted the audience with a grin and stated, “Talk to me later,” which elicited laughter from the listeners.
“I always tell my staff at HHS that if you’ve done your research, then we have no right to do anything mild. So we’re going to be proactive and go all the way. I will tell you—but I see that you’re filming, so I won’t tell you.”
Becerra provided the following response when Snow informed him it was being made public. “We are looking at every possibility, and that includes transportation.”
Since when has the law stopped the Biden Administration from doing whatever they want? Who’s going to stop them? Certainly not the DoJ.
— Chris Bierman (@ChrisBierman14) June 27, 2022
The ruling of the Supreme Court did not criminalize abortion, instead just leaving it up to the states to regulate.
However, a number of states are considering legislation that would either outlaw the procedure or reduce the gestational age range during which abortions are legal.
Governors from states like California, New York, and Illinois, as well as governors from other states, have promised to help women from other states get abortions.
If an employee lives and works in a state that does not legally allow abortions, several of the nation’s largest corporations stated they will pay for her to fly to another state for the procedure.