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Padilla urges Biden Administrationto prioritize equity in Roe overturn

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will be California's next U.S. Senator. (300217)
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will be California’s next U.S. Senator. Credit: Alex Padilla's Office.

U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to prioritize health equity for racial minorities, and low-income, immigrant, and tribal communities in any executive actions to address the recent Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision from the Supreme Court, which overturned the constitutional right to an abortion in the United States.

“As you consider options for executive actions to protect reproductive rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, I urge you to prioritize equity and specifically address the disproportionate impact this decision will have on racial minorities and economically disadvantaged families, as well as immigrant and tribal communities,” wrote Padilla. “Working to achieve health equity in America has always been critical, but ensuring equitable access to safe abortion care is now essential.”

The letter calls on President Biden to engage the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a public messaging campaign to dispel any false information regarding access to abortion care, and to disseminate resources in multiple languages and across numerous platforms. It also recommends that HHS issue updated guidance to clarify what options states have to expand their federal health programs to provide reproductive care for immigrant women and girls.

Additionally, the letter asks that the Department of Homeland Security and HHS develop policies and protocols to ensure that pregnant women and girls in immigration detention or in custody of the Office of Refugee and Resettlement are not denied access to reproductive health care.

Padilla is a cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would guarantee access and the right to provide abortion services in the United States. The senator also successfully secured commitments from SafeGraph and, two data brokers, to permanently stop selling the location data of people who visit abortion clinics.