President Joe Biden’s administration is weighing setting up abortion providers on federal land in Republican-controlled states, according to Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Xavier Becerra.
Becerra said that “every option is on the table” during Tuesday remarks about the fate of abortion in the United States following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Becerra said HHS is “aware of a number of ideas and proposals” when asked about the possibility of setting up abortion clinics on federal lands.
What I can tell you is that we are aware of a number of ideas and proposals, many of which we have been considering internally ourselves. We have made no decisions yet. We certainly would have a conversation with the president to make sure we implement his directives to us in trying to protect women’s reproductive healthcare services.
Becerra’s remarks come after prominent Congressional Democrats have called on Biden to install abortion clinics on federal lands.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is among those who have made such calls. Warren said Biden should “explore just how much we can start using federal lands as a way to protect people who need access to abortions in all the states that either have banned abortions or are clearly on the threshold of doing so.”
“There is much we can do at the federal level administratively under current law. We need to do it,” Warren added.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also urged Biden to do the same, calling the move “the babiest of baby steps.”
“I’ll start with the babiest of the babiest of baby steps: Open abortion clinics on federal lands in red states right now,” Ocasio-Cortez said outside of the Supreme Court on Friday.
Becerra also confirmed that Biden’s administration is looking to preserve access to abortion-inducing medication, calling it “a national imperative and in the public interest.”
Becerra’s remarks seemingly contradict other members of Biden’s White House. On Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris claimed the administration is not considering installing abortion clinics on federal land.
“It’s not right now what we are discussing,” Harris told CNN.
Interestingly, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre rejected the idea on the same day Becerra said it was an option “on the table.”
Jean-Pierre described the progressive proposal as “well-intentioned” but cautioned that there are “dangerous ramifications to doing this.”