Biden has said he cannot, on his own, restore access to abortion nationwide. He has called on voters to elect to Congress this fall a sufficient number of Democrats who could then vote to codify the rights of Roe v. Wade. But his administration has come under significant pressure from advocacy groups to use his executive powers, including declaring a public health emergency on abortion.
"The impact of the decision on the live as a people across our country has been immediate, wide-ranging and devastating," Garland said. "Over the past month, states across our nation have taken steps to impose abortion bans and other restrictions on access. In states with the most severe restrictions. There is no longer a single clinic providing abortions."
Delery said the session would allow the lawyers to “think seriously” about how they could bring “our unique tools to bear in pursuit of reproductive freedom” in the wake of the high court's ruling in the Mississippi abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“Before we can fight, we must listen — listen to those who have worked closely with women who have suffered and will suffer because of the Dobbs decision, listen to the medical professionals who provide reproductive care at great personal and professional lives, and listen to the lawyers who’ve already been on the front lines of this battle for decades," he said.
Also Friday, Biden said he would nominate to a federal appeals court the abortion rights lawyer who argued unsuccessfully for the preservation of Roe at the Supreme Court.
Julie Rikelman, a lawyer with the Center for Reproductive Rights, is Biden’s choice to fill a seat on the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Harvard-educated Rikelman is a native of Kyiv, Ukraine, from which she emigrated with her family in 1979.
In her presentation at the high court in December, Rikelman told the justices that “eliminating or reducing the right to abortion will propel women backwards. Two generations have now relied on this right, and one out of every four women makes the decision to end a pregnancy.”
Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.
Follow AP's coverage of abortion at https://apnews.com/hub/abortion