In today’s edition … Matt Aim on President Bidenis a complicated relationship with Queen Elizabeth II … Who is Judge Aileen M. Cannonwho accepted appoint a special master in former President Donald Trump’s fight with the Department of Justice? Ann E. Marimow has the details… A vote on abortion will be put to Michigan voters in November…but first…
“I still dispute the idea that we haven’t pushed the envelope”
Seven questions to… Jennifer Klein: We spoke with the executive director of the White House Gender Policy Council, who spearheaded the Biden administration’s response to the fallout from the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe vs. Wade. This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
Early: It’s been almost two months since President Biden established an interagency working group on reproductive health care services, which you co-chair. What is the most important step the task force has taken so far to protect abortion rights?
Klein: The President said when the decision was made that the only way to restore the right that had been protected by deer for nearly 50 years has been to adopt national legislation. I don’t know if I could underline one thing because, unfortunately, when you take away a fundamental right, it’s not an easy solution. There is not a single executive action that can be taken to restore this right.
One of the things that I think has been really important right now is making sure people get the care they need. You have seen the Secretary of Health and Human Services issue guidelines making it clear to health care providers, including pharmacies, that they cannot discriminate against people – women, in particular – when they come to get health services. The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the State of Idaho, seeking to ban abortion from the State of Idaho on the grounds that Idaho law conflicts with and is therefore preempted by the law on emergency medical treatment and work.
Early: Last month, a federal judge blocked part of Idaho’s law to criminalize abortions performed solely to protect a woman’s health, but a Texas court ruled in a separate case that the federal law does not does not require states to allow such abortions. Does the administration expect to sue other states that ban abortion to protect women’s health?
Klein: I cannot speak to additional enforcement actions and legal actions the Department of Justice may take. But I will say that we get many reports of these kinds of things happening across the country, and the Attorney General has been very clear that he will remain vigilant to monitor these kinds of cases.
Early: “Yes, there are limits to the power of the executive, there are limits to what the president can do,” Andrea Millerthe president of the National Institute of Reproductive Healthsay it New York Times last month. “But it feels like you have to push the envelope right now. Now is the time to go all out. Now is the time to take risks.” What other steps is the White House considering?
Klein: You know, I always challenge the premise that we haven’t pushed the envelope, that we haven’t been really aggressive in the actions that we take – because I think we have. Our standard is that we want to do everything we can legally do to protect women’s access to care. And I think we really do.
Early: Is the White House still considering declaring a public health emergency, as dozens of House Democrats have urged Biden to do?
Klein: Nothing is on the table. When we considered this earlier this summer, what we learned was that as good as it sounds – because it’s a public health crisis, what’s going on there – we didn’t want anything do that was actually going to put the people we’re trying to help at risk. We are particularly concerned about doctors and other health care providers, and we are concerned about the women they serve. So for that reason, we decided at that time not to pursue the idea of declaring a public health emergency.
Early: Health and Social Services Secretary Xavier Becerra last month urged states to apply for Medicaid waivers that would allow them to use federal funds to expand access to abortion. What exactly would these waivers allow states to do?
Klein: Well, waivers are granted on a case-by-case basis, so the details should be worked out between the Medicare and Medicaid service centers and the individual state. But the idea is that HHS could allow states to serve women traveling from other states to receive care in a state that has requested a Medicaid waiver.
Early: governor of illinois JB Pritzker told the Post a few weeks ago that he urged Biden to clarify that abortion providers in Democratic-controlled states could ship abortion pills to women seeking abortions in any state in the country. Is it under study?
Klein: The president led [Becerra] protect access to medicines approved by the [Food and Drug Administration] for reproductive health care, including drugs used for medical abortion, miscarriage management, and contraception. What’s happening right now is that the FDA is following its scientific, evidence-based process to make sure medical abortion is available.
Under previous FDA rules, mifepristone [— a pill taken to terminate a pregnancy —] could only be prescribed to patients by a provider in person. But in April 2021, the FDA announced that it would allow mifepristone to be sent to patients for the duration of the covid-19 public health emergency, and that is still in effect. In December, the FDA determined that it would make this change permanent, which would allow mifepristone to be distributed in traditional pharmacies and continue to be mailed. The agency is in the process of finalizing these changes, which we expect will take several more months.
Early: Do you anticipate Biden issuing another executive order related to abortion?
Klein: Right now we’re focused on implementing the two he issued, which really provide a pretty aggressive roadmap for what actions we can take.
For Biden, Queen Elizabeth II was a mother figure
The Irish: “Biden grew up with a series of lessons that included a maxim from his mother: Don’t kiss the pope’s ring and bow down to the queen», our colleague Matt Aim writing. “It was meant, he later recalled, as a sign that all people are equal and no one is superior.”
- “But for a man who respects institutions, Queen Elizabeth II was, to Biden and the world, as much an institution as anyone in modern history. So while Biden — an Irishman at heart — may not have worshiped the Queen as much as some, and bowed to her like many do, he did honor her in his own way.
- Biden’s “strong Irish heritage has been a point of pride for him, and he often made critical references to British rule of Ireland, at least jokingly. “The BBC? Biden said when a reporter from that network once unsuccessfully tried to stop him for a question. ‘I am Irish.'”
- “His mother is also said to have written poems expressing her dislike of the British and refused to sleep on the bed of a hotel where the queen once stayed, not wanting to rest in the same place as the monarch, Biden told the screenwriter Georgia Pritchett in an exchange recounted in his recent memoirs.
- But “after they met last year, he paid her one of the greatest compliments Biden could give: he compared her to his mother.”
It Happens Today: King Charles IIIElizabeth’s eldest son, should address the UK today. On Saturday, the Privy Council will formally name Charles, 73, the kingdom’s new monarch in a televised meeting. Check out The Post’s live blog for all the latest coverage.
More Queen Elizabeth II reruns
- Queen Elizabeth’s death revives criticism of Britain’s legacy of colonialism. By NBC News’ Janelle Griffith.
Justice Department seeks to regain access to classified Mar-a-Lago documents
Decision day: “Federal prosecutors asked Thursday [U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon] to restore their access to the classified documents seized donald trump‘s Mar-a-Lago, stating that their ongoing criminal investigation must determine if there are any sensitive government documents that have yet to be found, and noting that they plan to appeal the matter to a higher court in the interest of national security,” our colleagues Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett report.
- Mark your calendar: “DoJ attorneys told Cannon that if she did not grant them the reprieve requested by September 15they would file their appeal in the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta.
Besides … who is Aileen Cannon? “Cannon was not yet 40 when the federal prosecutor won decisive bipartisan support in a bitterly divided U.S. Senate to claim his seat on the South Florida District Court, in what would be Trump’s latest push to fill the federal bench of young conservative lawyers before leaving the White House”, our colleague Ann E. Marimow reports.
- “His profile skyrocketed this week after his surgery. in the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump’s possible mishandling of classified information.
- But “with less than two years on the bench, she does not have a complete file to review”.
More from Trumpworld: Meanwhile, the DOJ is “seeking details about the formation and functioning of Trump’s post-presidential political operation, according to three people familiar with the investigation, issuing a series of subpoenas in a significant extension of the criminal investigation of January 6, 2021. , attack on the Capitol and efforts to annul the results of the 2020 elections”, according to our colleagues Josh Dawsey and Isaac Arnsdorf.
Michigan abortion vote measure to go to voters in November
🗳️: “The Michigan Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a proposal enshrining the right to abortion in the state constitution to be added to the November ballot, ending a partisan row that unexpectedly erupted when a council of State declined to endorse the issue last week,” our colleague said. Kim Bellware reports.