Reversing President Trump’s restrictions on abortion and restoring funding to Planned Parenthood are among the actions Joe Biden plans to implement as he prepares to assume the presidency.
“As president, Biden will work to codify Roe v. Wade, and his Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate the constitutional right to an abortion,” says an explanation of Biden’s healthcare plans on his website. “Biden will reissue guidance specifying that states cannot refuse Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other providers that refer for abortions or provide related information and reverse the Trump Administration’s rule preventing Planned Parenthood and certain other family planning programs from obtaining Title X funds.”
The Biden Abortion Policies
Title X is a federal grant program for family planning that provides $286 million in funding to its participants. Planned Parenthood withdrew from the program after the Trump Administration released rules stating that Title X participants could not provide abortions or refer patients to get an abortion “except in cases of rape, incest or medical emergency.”
As part of his plans to “reverse the Trump Administration and states’ all-out assault on women’s right to choose,” Biden also states that he intends to reverse the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits the U.S. from providing family planning assistance to foreign NGOs if those organizations “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.”
Elsewhere on his website, Biden states he will ensure that all women have access to contraceptive medical coverage, with no exemptions to organizations for religious reasons. He specifically mentions targeting a Supreme Court ruling that allowed Hobby Lobby to refuse to provide contraceptives to its employees on religious grounds.
Encouragement for Pro-Lifers
It seems likely that Joe Biden will assume the presidency, even as President Trump continues to pursue allegations of voter fraud. But those disheartened by Biden’s aggressively pro-abortion policies can take heart from some good news.
Christianity Today reports that the latest election cycle has resulted in a “surge” of pro-life women being elected to the House of Representatives. Voters re-elected 11 female pro-life incumbents and 13 new pro-life representatives. These women are all Republicans and, more importantly, many are Christians.
Diana Harshbarger, for example, who was elected to Tennessee’s 1st Congressional District, taught Sunday school for 25 years and says that she is pro-life because of her faith. Voters in Illinois elected Mary Miller to represent the state’s 15th Congressional District. Miller has also taught Sunday School, has served in Vacation Bible School, and attends church. She says, “My family and my faith in God always come first.”
While the Democrats still control the House of Representatives, their lead is not as great as it was expected to be (as of this writing, there are 15 races that have not yet been called). Which party will have control of the Senate has come down to the state of Georgia, which will hold a runoff election in January. If Republicans end up controlling the Senate, Biden could have a challenge with implementing his policies.
Something else to keep in mind is that data indicates that a president’s policies and platform do not impact the actual number of abortions in the country as dramatically as we are often led to believe.
Both political parties have made much of the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade, and many have speculated that newly appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett could be integral to doing so. However, as Pastor Skye Jethani has pointed out, the Supreme Court has had pro-life, conservative justices in the past who have had opportunities to overturn Roe—and they have not done so.