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Congressional Black Caucus calls for national emergency after SCOTUS decision

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are urging President Biden to declare a national emergency in response to the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion rights.

In a letter to Biden, the CBC members said he should use “every tool” at his disposal to protect access to abortion services.

The letter also reminded Biden that some states — including Louisiana, South Dakota, Kentucky and Missouri — have “trigger” laws that will essentially ban abortion immediately.

“Every day we wait to respond is a day wasted in mitigating the public health crisis that Roe’s dismantling will catalyze,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

They also said the court’s decision will disproportionately affect Black women living in the South at a time when the maternal health crisis is already severely affecting the Black community. The Biden administration released a plan to tackle the maternal health care crisis Friday, promising to focus on building equity within the system. 

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“These unprecedented and calculated attacks on our bodily autonomy are a direct affront to the lives and freedom of Black women,” the caucus’s letter said.

Members of the caucus have also released individual statements denouncing the conservative court’s 6-3 decision. 

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the CBC, released a statement saying, “The hands of time have once again been turned back.”

“Let me be very clear: government-mandated pregnancy is not pro-life, it is pro-policing of women’s bodies,” she said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Val Demings (D), who is running for the Senate in Florida, said she was “ready to fight” for reproductive freedom. 

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In September, Demings introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify the right to access abortion across the nation. It was blocked in the Senate. 

“Freedom means the ability to live your life as you choose,” said Demings. “You have a fundamental, God-given right to your own life, your family, your religion, your circumstances, your privacy, your values, your health, your body. I’m going to fight for that freedom and so will millions of others. This isn’t over.”

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