Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, took a preventative measure Tuesday to stop President Joe Biden from using a “national health emergency” declaration to expand the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
The Catholic News Agency reports Rubio introduced the bill as pro-abortion activists and Democrat leaders pressure the president to act. Earlier this week, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra told Axios that his department is evaluating the possibility of an emergency declaration that would give the federal government more power to expand abortions across the country.
Rubio’s bill would stop that. The legislation prohibits the Biden administration from treating laws that protect unborn babies as a problem by banning any emergency declaration that would “promote, support or expand access to abortion or punish states that have restricted abortion,” according to CNA.
In an op-ed this week at Americano Media, Rubio said lawmakers have a “sacred duty to defend the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of all Americans — from babies in the womb to new moms and everyone in between.”
Other lawmakers voiced support for his bill, including U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Mississippi, the chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus.
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“The fact that the Biden administration wants to declare a public emergency to promote the wanton abortion of unborn children, a grotesque abuse of power, but won’t hardly spend a dime on tackling true emergencies like the one at our southern border, proves just how painfully out of touch President Biden is,” Hyde-Smith told CNA.
Because the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, 14 states now protect unborn babies by banning or strictly limiting abortions, and more are fighting in court to do the same. According to SBA Pro-Life America, these state laws have “the potential to save over 125,000 lives annually,” and all of them protect pregnant mothers’ lives, too.
However, the Biden administration and Democrat leaders have been working aggressively to thwart these life-saving efforts, including by allowing dangerous abortion drugs to be sent through the mail and sold in pharmacies.
“There are times where I think [abortion] is absolutely their No. 1 priority,” National Right to Life Committee President Carol Tobias told CNA.
If Biden declares a national health emergency for abortion, Tobias said tax dollars could be used to pay for killing unborn babies.
Such an order also could allow the Biden administration to further expand access to abortion drugs, allow abortionists to practice on federally-governed military bases in pro-life states and shield abortionists “from legal liability for treating patients in a state where they are not licensed,” the New York Times reported last year.
Tobias and other pro-life leaders urged the president and Congress to focus instead on providing better support for families in need, including through tax credits for unborn babies and pregnancy resource centers that provide material resources, counseling and more.
“If Democrats were truly concerned about women facing difficult circumstances, they would support the pregnancy centers which serve them …” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America. “They would be in good company too, since 91 percent of Americans support this compassionate pro-life safety net.”
For months, Democrat leaders have been pressuring Biden to expand abortions in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling, including taxpayer-funded vouchers and other resources for women who travel across state lines for abortions, and a new “reproductive health ombudsman” in the Department of Health and Human Services to “educate” the public and analyze data about abortion.
Because Democrats control the U.S. Senate, Rubio’s bill and other pro-life efforts face an uphill battle.
However, hope remains. Biden administration leaders have expressed hesitancy about the emergency health declaration because it could run into legal trouble. Pro-life state leaders almost certainly would sue, and Mary Ziegler, a law professor who specializes in the abortion issue at the University of California Davis, said their lawsuits likely would succeed.
“It would be hard to imagine a federal court challenge to that … ending well for the administration, but by the same token, it might have some value in the short term,” Ziegler told Axios this week.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has admitted that Biden cannot do much to expand abortions without the approval of Congress.
For nearly 50 years under Roe, abortions destroyed more than 64 million unborn babies in abortions. Only now that Roe has been overturned may states again protect the right to life for all human beings, born and unborn.
Two new polls show growing public support for legal protections for unborn babies. A Marist College poll found 69 percent of Americans support limiting or banning abortions, up from 62 percent in June. Another new poll from UMass Amherst found a 5-percent drop in those who say Congress should pass a law to make abortions legal nation-wide and a 6-percent increase in support for a national abortion ban, WCVB News reports.