'Squad' Members Call on Biden To Declare Public Health Emergency in Wake of Roe Ruling

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.) speaks at a pro-abortion rally / Getty Images
June 24, 2022

A coalition of 20 black congresswomen, led by "Squad" member Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.), on Thursday wrote a letter to President Joe Biden that urged him to declare a public health emergency in anticipation of a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The Court on Friday overturned the seminal 1973 abortion-rights decision.

The congresswomen urged the president to use "any and all executive authorities" to work against the Court's decision—including "declaring a public health emergency and national emergency."

The Court's decision does not prohibit abortion but rather returns the issue to the states, a majority of which allow the procedure. Just 5 percent of Americans consider abortion the most important issue facing the country, Gallup reported last month. By contrast, 55 percent say that inflation under President Joe Biden is the most important issue, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

The letter says that pro-life measures are "unprecedented and calculated attacks on our bodily autonomy" that harm "the lives and freedom of Black women." While black women get more abortions than women of any other race, just 32 percent of black Americans support abortion on demand without restrictions, a Gallup poll found in 2020.

The letter's call comes as threats of pro-abortion violence intensify against churches, pro-life organizations, and Supreme Court justices. While the Department of Homeland Security sounded the alarm about a wave of violence following the Court's decision, the Biden administration, which supports abortion rights, has done little to stem the tide.

Pressley was not the only prominent far-left Democrat to sign the letter. Fellow "Squad" members Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Cori Bush (Mo.), as well as Los Angeles mayoral candidate Karen Bass, also called for a post-Roe public health emergency.