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President Biden on Tuesday reacted to the leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion string down Roe v. Wade, saying he believes that “a woman’s right to choose is fundamental,” and arguing that “basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned,” while saying any potential final decision on the case by the high court should push voters “to elect pro-choice officials” during November’s midterm elections.
The high court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to a draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, in an unprecedented and stunning leak from the high court.
“We do not know whether this draft is genuine, or whether it reflects the final decision of the Court,” the president said Tuesday morning. “With that critical caveat, I want to be clear on three points about the cases before the Supreme Court.”
“First, my administration argued strongly before the Court in defense of Roe v. Wade. We said that Roe is based on ‘a long line of precedent recognizing ‘the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty’… against government interference with intensely personal decisions,'” Biden said.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the debt ceiling during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 4 in Washington. A California man was arrested in Iowa last week as he was traveling to Washington D.C., after he was found with a “hit list” featuring Biden, former presidents and Dr. Anthony Fauci. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
“I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental, Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned,” Biden said.
The president also pointed to Texas, its SB-8 law and others “restricting women’s reproductive rights.”
“I directed my 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,” Biden said. “We will be ready when any ruling is issued.”
Biden added that if the Supreme Court “does overturn Roe, 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,” Biden said. “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.”
The draft leak, first obtained by Politico, was written in early February. It is not immediately clear if the draft has been rewritten or revised.
The Supreme Court has declined to verify or disavow the document. Conservatives have suggested the leak may represent an attempt to pressure a Supreme Court justice to change his or her vote on the pivotal case.