In the wake of last month’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Department of Justice announced the formation of the Reproductive Rights Task Force.
The announcement comes as nearly two dozen states are attempting to ban or restrict most abortions. Last month’s Supreme Court decision reversed an almost 50-year precedent that states could not enact abortion bans.
“The Court abandoned 50 years of precedent and took away the constitutional right to abortion, preventing women all over the country from being able to make critical decisions about our bodies, our health, and our futures. The Justice Department is committed to protecting access to reproductive services,” said Associate Attorney General Gupta.
The Justice Department said the task force with monitor state and local legislation to ensure women have access to abortions in states where it is legal. The task force comes amid concerns that states could penalize women leaving their state to seek an abortion.
The task force will also work with Congress to assist with drafting legislation codifying abortion rights throughout the U.S.
While the White House and many congressional Democrats said they would like to codify abortion rights, there are not enough votes in the Senate to overcome a GOP filibuster.
While President Joe Biden and others have suggested eliminating the filibuster for a vote on abortion rights, Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, said he opposes lifting the filibuster to bring a vote on abortion rights to the floor.
The status of some state restrictions is still being settled as courts weigh in. Some states have been blocked from implementing restrictions by courts.