Biden and Democrat Governors Meet to Advance Abortion
Monday, July 18, 2022

President Biden met with nine Democrat governors to discuss efforts to provide access to the killing of unborn children. Discussion centered on the actions each is taking including by: announcing funding for abortion; abortion awareness campaigns; supporting the codification of the right to access to abortion into state law and state constitutions; “issuing executive actions to defend patients, including out-of-state patients, providers, and third parties”; and joint action to support abortion access as undertaken by the  governors of California, Oregon and Washington who issued a Multi-State Commitment “to be a safe haven for all people seeking abortions”. 

The governors in attendance were: Kate Brown, Oregon; Roy Cooper, North Carolina; Kathy Hochul, New York; Jay Inslee, Washington; Ned Lamont, Connecticut; Dan McKee, Rhode Island; Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico; Jared Polis, Colorado; and J.B. Pritzker, Illinois. 

Biden reiterated his Administration’s commitment “to defend women’s freedom to travel for lawful abortion care, as well as access to critical, FDA-approved medications for reproductive health care, including medication abortion and contraception.” 

Governors in the meeting appealed to Biden and the federal government for assistance.   

Governor Hochul of New York asked for continued help at the federal level to fund more broadly fund family planning services so that providers and clinics can use “federal resources for these services” so that they “can focus on private dollars for abortion services”. So asked Biden to consider his ability to use federal facilities for abortion and explained that she is talking about veterans’ hospitals, military bases, and other places “where the federal government controls the jurisdiction in some of the states that are hostile to women’s rights, and make sure that those services can be available to other women.”  

She added that New York now mandates that all insurance companies doing business in the state of New York have to cover abortion.   

Governor Cooper of North Carolina expressed his concern over the Republican legislature and the need to elect enough Democrat legislators to sustain his veto. As Chair of the Democratic Governors Association, Cooper said that it is his mission to elect more Democratic governors in November. He explained that “governors really are the last line of defense. And they’re also the first chance at progress, which you’re going to hear today, especially with this Supreme Court on such a destructive path.” 
Governor Lujan Grisham from New Mexico stated that the state had “increased resources for family planning, contraceptives, reproductive care, abortion, abortion care services through all of our network of providers and through state funds.” 

She said, “We are going to need the feds to think about ways — not just the FDA protection — for making sure that telemedicine is available for contraceptives and abortion care…We should talk about access points.  We should be using school-based health centers.  There’s a number of things that we could use your assistance and your leadership. Grisham suggested using the Indian Health Service Clinics. The Indian Health Service is divided into twelve physical areas of the United States each with a unique group of Tribes in Alaska, Albuquerque, Bemidji, Billings, California, Great Plains, Nashville, Navajo, Oklahoma, Phoenix, Portland, and Tucson.  

Biden was told by Governor Lujan Grisham, “We stand ready to fight hard across the country and making sure that you have what you need in Congress so that we can codify Roe v. Wade, so that your states that stand as that safe haven and brick wall will continue to do that, and support us as many women and their families all across America who are going to need us as we fight to win this battle.” 

The meeting concluded with President Biden asking the governors to “think about what you think I should be doing, if you were sitting in my seat, that I should be considering that we haven’t already considered and could be useful.”