Today, Gender Policy Council Co-Chairs Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso, White House Counsel Dana Remus and Deputy White House Counsel Danielle Conley, Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach Emmy Ruiz, and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council Christen Linke Young hosted a roundtable with women’s rights and reproductive health leaders to discuss the Supreme Court’s ruling on Texas’ SB8.  The meeting followed the unprecedented assault on constitutional rights under Roe v. Wade and underscored the President’s commitment to ensuring that every person in this country has access to reproductive health care.  President Biden made clear in his statement earlier this week that this law will significantly impair access to care, particularly for communities of color and individuals with low incomes and Vice President Harris reiterated in her statement the Administration’s commitment to use every lever to defend that right to safe and legal abortion and to strengthen that right.

During the meeting, women’s rights leaders shared the impact of the ruling—what Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, called “a legal and public health emergency”—on those directly impacted in local communities across the state of Texas.  Leaders shared recommendations for steps the federal government can take to ensure that all people in the U.S., including in Texas, have access to safe and legal abortions as protected by Roe and highlighted connections to racial equity, gender-based violence, and the maternal health crisis in the U.S.   

Senior White House officials expressed gratitude for the leadership and advocacy of the reproductive health and rights community, especially during a time where women’s health is under attack in states across the country.  National leaders support an ecosystem of local affiliates, providers, and community-based organizations—many led by women of color—on the frontlines of protecting reproductive rights and health.

White House officials also underscored the Biden-Harris Administration’s urgent commitment to protecting and advancing reproductive health and rights, as exemplified by the launch of a whole-of-government effort—led by the Gender Policy Council and Office of the White House Counsel—to respond to the law.  Earlier this week, the President tasked the Department of Health and Human Services and the Justice Department to explore what steps the federal government can take to ensure access to safe and legal abortion.  These efforts build on the President’s earlier commitments to a government-wide approach to advancing gender equity and equality, including women’s reproductive health care.

Women’s rights and reproductive health leaders that participated in today’s roundtable included: 

  • Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Brigitte Amiri, Deputy Director at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, American Civil Liberties Union
  • Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO, National Women’s Law Center
  • Jamie Mason, President, Catholics for Choice
  • Jocelyn Frye, Senior Fellow, Women’s Initiative, Center for American Progress
  • Marcela Howell, President and CEO, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Agenda
  • Nancy Northup, President and CEO, Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Shaina Goodman, Director of Policy for Reproductive Health and Rights, National Partnership for Women and Families
  • Sheila Katz, CEO, National Council of Jewish Women
  • Silvia Henriquez, Co-President, All* Above All
  • Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum

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