President Biden on Tuesday bashed the University of Idaho over its new guidance against offering birth control for students, arguing contraception shouldn’t be controversial in this day and age.
“Folks, what century are we in? What are we doing? I respect everyone’s view on this — personal decision they make, but my lord, we’re talking about contraception here. It shouldn’t be that controversial,” Biden said during a meeting of the White House Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access.
“But this is what it looks like when you start to take away the right of privacy,” the president added.
The new policy by the University of Idaho also advises employees not to speak about reproductive rights at work and warns there could face a felony conviction for promoting abortion, The Washington Post reported.
The president said that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona will look at steps to protect college students and school employees in Idaho or other states where access to contraception is at risk.
The policy follows Idaho’s trigger ban, which went into effect months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe. v. Wade and prohibits abortion after conception with exceptions for if the woman’s life is in danger or in instances of rape or incest if the crime is reported.
The president and Vice President Harris both attended the second meeting of the White House Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access, which came about 100 days after the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Biden warned other universities to not enact the same policies.
“My message to any other colleges considering enacting policies like this: don’t. Please don’t. We’re not going to sit by and let Republicans throughout the country enact extreme policies to threaten access to basic health care, and that’s why we’re all here today,” he said.
Biden offered support in his remarks for people during the post-Roe era.
“My message to folks across the country who are worried about what we’re seeing is first that we have your back. We’re not going to step back from this and second, we’ve heard your voices,” he said.
The administration on Tuesday announced it will provide more than $6 million in new Title X grants and other grants to protect access to reproductive health care. And the Department of Education is set to release guidance to universities that will reiterate the Title IX requirement that institutions must protect their students from discrimination based on pregnancy, including pregnancy termination.