As the country awaits a Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center that is likely to allow 26 states to ban abortion entirely, President Biden’s advisers have been developing a list of options for executive action to protect abortion rights. Some of them see this as an approach with many legal and political complexities, including the possibility that it would shift attention away from the broader crisis of SCOTUS legitimacy and focus it instead on the use of executive action.
Nonetheless, we believe President Biden and our Democratic legislators must act. Forcing people to give birth against their will is not just a fundamentally illegitimate use of state power that falls hardest on the most marginalized people; the International Criminal Court actually considers it a war crime. That’s why last week we advocated for executive actions recommended in a letter from Senators Warren, Murray, and others.
And it’s why this week, we call upon President Biden and the Democrats to think as broadly as possible about how to use all their power to prevent more than half the states from legalizing the atrocity of forced birth. For example, since the president controls federal lands, he could issue an executive order allowing abortion services to be provided there, providing safe passage there to people seeking care, and deputizing providers to protect them from state “bounty hunters.” Republicans might argue that this would violate the Hyde Amendment, but that only prohibits the use of Medicaid and other healthcare funding programs to pay for abortion services, except in cases of rape or incest—so facilities on federal land could avoid that issue by offering these services at no charge to low-income patients.
“There is no law, yet, that prevents the federal government from helping rape survivors. There is no law, yet, that requires the federal government to throw up its hands every time it hits the borders of Texas. There will be laws to do both of those things should Republicans take back Congress and the White House, because Republicans use power when they have it. Maybe Democrats should take a page out of the GOP playbook and try out the whole ‘using power’ thing, before it’s too late for women, the LGBTQ community, and democracy.” — Elie Mystal
Urge the President to take forceful executive action to fight forced birth, such as offering abortion services on federal land, and ask your Senators to join our demands.
Poor People’s Campaign: National Call for a Moral Revival
On Saturday, June 18, the Poor People’s Campaign: National Call for a Moral Revival (PPC) held a Moral Assembly in Washington D.C. The all-day rally was attended by 25,000 people, with at least 500 buses coming in from across the country, as well as live stream watch parties nationwide, including one hosted by Indivisible East Bay. The Poor People’s Campaign invited people to “take a stand with us against poverty, systemic racism, ecological devastation, & the war economy.” Bishop William Barber, former head of the North Carolina NAACP, reminded Washington D.C., “As long as there are 140 million poor and low-income people in this country, and we know it doesn’t have to be this way, we won’t be silent anymore!”
The PPC launched a non-partisan voter outreach to low-income voters (LIV) across 16 states in preparation for the 2020 elections and reached 2.1 million voters. In the historically high voter turnout of 2020, 58 million—or 35% of the voting electorate—were LIV. Speakers at the rally were introduced with information about the size of the low-income voting block in their particular states.
The PPC’s 45 state coordinating committees and more than 250 labor and organizational partners have led the charge to demand passage of Biden’s full economic agenda. They are working toward reviving our constitutional commitment to establish justice, provide for the general welfare, end decades of austerity, and recognize that policies that center the 140 million poor and low-income people in the country are also good economic policies that can heal and transform the nation. Learn more about their work and how to support it on our blog.
The January 6 Select Committee Hearings
The January 6 Committee has been doing an excellent job recording and telling the history of the attempts by Trump and other MAGA Republicans to throw out Americans’ votes and cling to presidential power despite losing the 2020 election—attempts that led to armed Trump supporters invading the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
The first four hearings are available for viewing in full on the Committee’s YouTube channel. Yesterday, we heard from Georgia’s Secretary of State and Arizona’s House Speaker on Trump’s efforts to pressure them directly, and a Georgia election worker who was targeted by harassment campaigns after Trump and Giuliani falsely accused her of counting fictitious ballots. Tomorrow’s hearing will focus on Trump’s attempts to replace senior officials in his Administration’s Department of Justice with stooges who would help keep him in power.
Our website has the full schedule, which we’ll update as the Committee’s official hearing schedule changes, and links to resources.
If you’re interested in participating in activities like drafting letters to our Members of Congress and developing our strategy for influencing them, the Indivisible SF Federal Working Group is where it happens. Our next meeting is on Thursday, June 23. Details on how to register below.
ISF Federal Working Group meeting: Thursday, June 23, 7:30–9 PM. Register here to join our regular Zoom meeting, where we work together to develop strategies for influencing our Members of Congress and the Biden administration to support a progressive agenda. All are welcome to participate and contribute, even if you’ve never attended an ISF meeting before.
Bay Area Coalition Phone Banks: Wednesdays and Saturdays. Our friends at Swing Left need your help talking to voters about the upcoming primaries and midterms. Join Swing Left and the Bay Area Coalition on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings to make calls to voters in California and around the nation. Sign up for a shift:
- TODAY, Wednesday, June 22, 5–7 PM
- Saturday, June 25, 10 AM–12 PM
- Wednesday, June 29, 5–7 PM
Voter registration drive in the California Central Valley with Swing Left: Saturdays. Swing Left needs your help registering voters in Central Valley CD-13 and CD-22, from Modesto to Bakersfield. They will conduct door-to-door and COVID-safe canvassing to register voters every weekend until Tuesday, November 8. Sign up here:Saturday, June 25, 9 AM–3:30 PMSaturday, July 2, 9 AM–3:30 PMSaturday, July 9, 9 AM–3:30 PM About this week’s photo
If you’ve seen our newsletter posts on Twitter and Facebook, you might have noticed that we include a photo or graphic with each issue.
Today’s photo is of demonstrators during the May 3 abortion rights rally outside of the Phillip Burton Federal Building in Civic Center, taken by Beth LaBerge for KQED.
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