'This fall, Roe is on the ballot. Personal freedoms are on the ballot. The right to privacy, liberty, equality — they're all on the ballot,' President Joe Biden said at the White House on Friday.
In a speech on Friday from the White House, President Joe Biden slammed the decision by the conservative-led U.S. Supreme Court to overturn its landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that enshrined abortion as a constitutional right for all Americans.
Biden called it "a sad day for the court and for the country," adding, "with Roe gone, let's be very clear: The health and life of women in this nation are now at risk."
"With this decision, a conservative majority of the Supreme Court shows how extreme it is, how far removed they are from the majority of this country. It made the United States an outlier among developed nations in the world."
The court ruled on Friday that there is no constitutional right to an abortion, ending 50 years of protection for the rights of people who receive the vital medical procedure.
The justices who voted to strike down Roe — John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh — were nominated by Republican Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump.
The justices who voted to uphold Roe — Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor – were nominated by Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Discussing the issue in the context of the midterm elections, Biden said, "We need to restore the protections of Roe as law of the land. We need to elect officials who will do that. This fall, Roe is on the ballot. Personal freedoms are on the ballot. The right to privacy, liberty, equality — they're all on the ballot."
Biden called on the public to keep protests after the decision peaceful: "I call on everyone, no matter how deeply they care about this decision, to keep all protests peaceful. Peaceful, peaceful, peaceful. No intimidation. Violence is never acceptable."
Noting that "women must remain free to travel safely to another state to seek care," Biden warned that "If any state or local official, high or low, tries to interfere with a woman's exercise of her basic right to travel, I will do everything in my power to fight that deeply un-American attack."
Biden has previously enacted policies in support of abortion rights during his presidency, like undoing a "gag rule" put in place by former President Donald Trump's administration that banned clinics from referring women for abortions.
Last September, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Texas after that state imposed a six-week abortion ban.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.