Statement from Biden

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The White House just released this statement about Roe. Here’s the text and then a few comments from me.

May 3, 2022
Statement by President Joe Biden
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. 

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.” 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.

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.

Third, if the 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.  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.

As I tried to explain in the earlier post, it’s critical to make the stakes and possibilities coming out of 2022 clear.

Look at the statement. The only relevant point is in item three. It should be at the top. And it should be the whole statement. The first two points are boilerplate. They’re not wrong but they’re not relevant. The whole issue is item three. But it’s down at the bottom. That’s a mistake and it shows a failure of political and electoral focus and imagination.

This isn’t just about reproductive rights. It’s about the politics. A referendum on Roe is really the only potential game changing factor for Dems for the midterms. Even if you’re totally cynical and don’t care about reproductive rights at all, it’s a big political cudgel.

Now, some people may be thinking, wah wah wah, the Democrats clearly aren’t up to the challenge … Grow up. When politicians don’t have something right it’s up to voters to get them on track.

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