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Why building abortion clinics on federal land in red states is a bad idea

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14.07.2022

President Biden issued an executive order to protect reproductive health care last week. This week, the Justice Department announced the establishment of a reproductive rights task force. Among the choice words in either effort are “monitor,” “evaluate,” “identify,” “ensure” and “protect” — as in access to reproductive health care. Noticeably absent is a specific proposal raised by antiabortion forces in recent weeks: to build abortion clinics on federal land.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was the first person I saw to suggest this seemingly simple measure. But something bugged me about this novel idea. If it was so simple, why wouldn’t the Biden administration just do it? Short answer: It’s complicated and puts the lives of real people needlessly at risk.

It’s complicated, because the Supreme Court’s decision last month to overturn the 49-year-old constitutional right to an abortion did not clarify the law so much as introduce new legal uncertainties. And building abortion clinics on federal land in states with restrictions or outright bans raises myriad questions.

First, because of the Hyde Amendment, federal money cannot be spent to facilitate abortion services, except in cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the pregnant........

© Washington Post


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