White House blasts ‘extreme’ abortion ban laws in four new states

The White House on Friday blasted “extreme” laws that go into effect to ban abortion in Oklahoma, Idaho, Texas and Tennessee, in a statement from spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre.

Referring more generally to the conservative offensive against abortion rights, President Joe Biden for his part said at a White House meeting with local elected officials, “I think the American people realize that this is all crossing the line, that it’s going too far.”

He reiterated the need for federal legislation to restore abortion rights nationwide, and assured that in November, in the midterm elections, “the American people will make this happen,” which means giving Democrats a clear majority in Congress.

The defense of abortion rights, and its corollary, the vocal criticism of Republicans on the issue, play the leading roles in the Democratic campaign for this election.

Idaho, Texas and Tennessee joined the dozen or so conservative states that had so-called “trigger laws” in place, some of which prohibited all voluntary termination of pregnancy, including in cases of rape and incest.

Their entry into force is the direct consequence of a decision by the now very conservative American Supreme Court.

The institution, shaped by former President Donald Trump, on June 24 blasted the constitutional right to abortion that extended to the entire U.S. territory.

The law that goes into effect in Oklahoma is not strictly speaking a “trigger law. It aims to punish doctors or medical personnel who continue to perform abortions, with heavy fines and sentences of up to 10 years in prison.

“These near-total bans on abortion are part of an ever-expanding initiative by Republicans to suppress freedoms that Americans have enjoyed for nearly half a century,” said Karine Jean-Pierre.

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“Americans need to know that these and other basic rights, including the right to contraception and marriage for all, are under threat,” she insisted.

The White House released a series of polls Friday showing that a majority of Americans support abortion rights and are concerned that they are under threat, boosting voting intentions for Democrats.