A coalition of city and county attorneys from across the country is urging the Biden administration to issue clear guidance to federal agencies: do not cooperate with state or local law enforcement when it comes to the.
In a letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the attorneys argue those agencies ought not “play any role—directly or indirectly—in the enforcement of state bans on accessing or providing abortion care and travel to seek it.”
Last month's Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade allows states to regulate abortion rights. About half have severelyor soon will.
The letter, signed by 15 city and county attorneys from 12 states, asks the Cabinet officials to “instruct that none of your officers or employees will participate in the criminalization of abortion or enforcement of state restrictions upon it.”
President Biden supports abortion rights but his executive order issued earlier this month stopped short of addressing the federal government's role in enforcing state abortion laws.
Federal officers often share information with state and local police departments or cooperate in investigations.
“Many of these cooperative activities are discretionary, and you have considerable leeway in how you deploy these assets,” the letter says.
Public Rights Project, a left-leaning civil rights non-profit, organized the coalition, which includes attorneys from Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio, a state where abortion was recently outlawed after six weeks of pregnancy.