(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden will unveil new guidance from the Department of Education requiring universities to protect students who terminate their pregnancies from discrimination, in the latest effort by the White House to focus attention on abortion rights in November’s midterm elections.
The administration will also provide $6 million in new Title X grants to expand access to reproductive care, Gender Policy Council Director Jennifer Klein said Tuesday in a memo distributed by the White House.
The guidance could create regulatory questions for state-run universities over reconciling state restrictions on providing support for or access to abortions with federal regulations, tied to funding, that require academic accommodations for abortion-related medical needs.
The regulation is designed to allow students who seek abortions greater ease -- and additional protections -- when requesting a medically-excused absence from class.
“Extreme abortion bans are having consequences that extend beyond abortion, including reports of women being denied access to necessary prescriptions and contraception at pharmacies and on college campuses,” Klein said.
Biden will make the announcement at a meeting of the task force he created in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established abortion rights nationally. Vice President Kamala Harris and members of the president’s cabinet are also expected to attend.
Democrats are optimistic that the ruling on abortion can help motivate both their base and moderate voters, and possibly stave off the traditional losses by the president’s party during midterm congressional elections. Some 56% of voters said abortion was a top issue to them according to a Monmouth University poll released this week, though 82% said the same about inflation.
In recent weeks, Biden has sought to highlight efforts by congressional Republicans that would institute restrictions on abortion rights even in states that continue to allow the procedure. Abortion bans have gone into effect in more than a dozen states since the Supreme Court ruling.
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