White House to host lawyers to discuss abortion access

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WASHINGTON — Attorney General Merrick Garland will headline an event at the White House on Friday that will bring together pro bono attorneys, bar associations and public interest groups to discuss how best to deliver legal services and protections for women seeking an abortion.

The effort is part of an executive order signed by President Joe Biden earlier this month aimed at protecting abortion access after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to process.

On Friday, attorneys will work to “encourage strong legal representation for those seeking reproductive care services,” the White House said in announcing the event. Garland will be joined by White House Counsel Stuart Delery, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, himself a lawyer.

Among the issues the attorneys will discuss at the Friday afternoon event include: travel for abortions, what to do when women are denied the procedure and the criminalization of the practice, according to the White House.

Biden said he alone cannot restore access to abortion nationwide and called on voters to elect enough Democrats to Congress this fall who could then vote to codify rights. of Roe versus Wade. But his administration has come under significant pressure from advocacy groups to use its executive powers, including declaring a public health emergency over abortion.

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