President Joe Biden issued a statement Tuesday that questioned whether the leak of a potentially seismic U.S. Supreme Court opinion affecting abortion rights was real, but vowed that his administration was ready to fight to maintain abortion access regardless.
“We will be ready when any ruling is issued,” Biden said, regarding a purported 98-page draft opinion in a Mississippi case authored by Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established the federal right to abortion procedures. POLITICO obtained and published the document Monday night.
Biden began his statement by acknowledging the extraordinary circumstances of the leak.
“We do not know whether this draft is genuine, or whether it reflects the final decision of the Court. With that critical caveat, I want to be clear on three points about the cases before the Supreme Court,” Biden asserted.
Biden asserted his administration has defended the current legal construct under Roe, protecting abortion access under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He contends “a woman’s right to choose is fundamental, Roe has been the law of the land for almost 50 years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned.”
State-level decisions such as Texas’ “Heartbeat” Ban that prohibits abortions after the sixth week of gestation led the administration to contemplate next steps, Biden noted.
The President “directed (the) Gender Policy Council and White House Counsel’s Office to prepare options for an Administration response to the continued attack on abortion and reproductive rights, under a variety of possible outcomes in the cases pending before the Supreme Court. We will be ready when any ruling is issued.”
Biden also urged legislative action to turn Roe into law if overturned, contending “it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose.”
“And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November. At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law,” Biden vowed.
Worth noting: Florida lawmakers based their abortion prohibition (HB 5) on the Mississippi legislation, which bans the procedure after the 15th week of gestation.
Sister of Perpetual Indulgence RSM
May 3, 2022 at 10:35 am
It’s great to have a “heads-up” on what the Court is planning to create chaos in the USA!
Biden may not want to add five new justice’s to SCOTUS …. but that may be his only option to protect a woman’s privacy.
May 3, 2022 at 12:22 pm
I am consistently astounded at the extent to which people – in this case American woment – are so frequently and thoughtlessly willing to vote against their own best interests.
The Lucky Ones
May 5, 2022 at 7:48 pm
There are some American women who have such breadth of thought as to contemplate this simple truth: they once were helpless and dependent in the womb, too, and they survived–because their mothers were not barbarians.
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