President Joe Biden on Tuesday said a woman’s right to have an abortion is “fundamental” in his first statement following a published draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade.
“I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental,” the devout Catholic wrote in a statement. “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.”
While Biden has publicly shared, he personally is opposed to abortion because of his faith, he does not believe he should impose his views on the rest of society.
According to CNN, in his 2007 book, “Promises to Keep” he wrote: “I personally am opposed to abortion, but I don’t think I have the right to impose my view—on something I accept as a matter of faith—on the rest of society. I’ve thought a lot about it, and my position probably doesn’t please anyone. I think the government should stay out completely.”
On Monday evening, Politico published an alleged draft of a majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
Biden, began with caution in the one page press release, acknowledging the unprecedented nature of seeing a draft opinion before the court’s formal ruling.
“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,” he wrote.
“First, my administration argued strongly before the Court in defense of Roe v. Wade,” Biden said. “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.
He said his administration was already preparing for the outcome—but called on American voters to elect pro-choice candidates in November and on congressional lawmakers to codify Roe into law.
“Second, shortly after the enactment of Texas law SB 8 and other laws 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. We will be ready when any ruling is issued,” he continued.
The final opinion has not been released and votes and language can change before opinions are formally released. The opinion in this case is not expected to be published until late June.