The president denied millions the right to choose against having COVID-19 vaccinations but reacted angrily to Friday’s abortion ruling. He asked Congress to restore abortion access nationwide through legislation.
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court Friday reversed the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that made nationwide access to abortion legal. Justice Samuel Alito was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett in declaring the end of a federal abortion “right.”
“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito wrote, describing the Roe v. Wade ruling “egregiously wrong and deeply damaging.”
President Joe Biden apparently considers his constitutional knowledge superior to the Supreme Court justices in remarks he made early Friday afternoon.
“Today, the Supreme Court of the United States expressly took away a constitutional right from the American people that it had already recognized,” Biden said from the White House. “They didn’t limit it. They simply took it away. That’s never been done to a right so important to so many Americans.”
“But they did it, and it’s a sad day for the Court and for the country.”
Biden noted that Roe v. Wade had been the established law of the land for almost half a century. That, technically, is not true because in the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the nation’s highest Court said states could restrict abortions before the fetus became “viable.”
“This landmark case protected a woman’s right to choose,” said Biden, “her right to make intensely personal decisions with her doctor, free from the interference of politics.”
It is unclear how the president reconciles supporting a right to choose to have an abortion but does not support a right to choose not to be injected with unwanted vaccinations.
The president called on Congress to pass laws restoring the access previously granted under the Roe v. Wade ruling.
“No executive action from the President can do that,” he explained, “and if Congress, as it appears, lacks the votes to do that now, voters need to make their voices heard.”
“This fall, Roe is on the ballot, personal freedoms are on the ballot,” added Biden. “The right to privacy, liberty, equality, they’re all on the ballot.”
He promised to do everything in his power to protect a woman’s ability to get an abortion in states where banning them will be one of the consequences of Friday’s decision.
Biden urged opponents of the Supreme Court ruling to keep their protests peaceful, saying violence is never acceptable. He added his administration will use all appropriate powers to counteract the abortion reversal while reminding women in states that outlaw abortions they are free to travel to states that still allow it.
He repeated his call for Congress to act and urged like-minded listeners to act by voting.
“You can have the final word,” Biden said. “This is not over.”
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