President Biden signaled that he may take executive action to protect abortion access in the likely event that the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade this summer.
During a taped interview on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” that aired Wednesday night, the President indicated that executive orders are on the table if the high court’s leaked draft majority opinion overturning Roe ends up being the court’s final ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — the challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.
“Well if that occurs, I think we have to legislate it,” Biden said. “We have to make sure we pass legislation making it a law that is: the federal government says this is how it works.”
Biden went on to warn that the high court’s potential gutting of Roe is “just going to be the beginning” and suggested that access to contraception could be under threat as well, citing the 1965 landmark decision of Connecticut v. Griswold.
“There’s a whole range of things that are at stake here when we talk about eliminating Roe v. Wade — it’s just ridiculous in my view,” the President said, before signaling again that he is weighing executive action.
“I don’t think the country will stand for it, but I think what we’re going to have to do is there are some executive orders I could employ,” Biden said. “We’re looking at that right now.”
“It’s clear that if, in fact, the decision comes down the way it does and these states impose the limitations they’re talking about, it’s going to cause a mini revolution and they’re going to vote a lot of these folks out of office,” the President continued.
Biden’s taped interview occurred hours after more than 20 Senate Democrats signed a letter urging the President to issue an immediate executive order to protect reproductive health care, including abortion.
In the letter, which was spearheaded by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the Senate Democrats implored the Biden administration to take six specific steps to ensure Americans have access to the abortion care they need.
“Americans across the nation and at every level of government must stand up against this unprecedented assault on women and their right to make decisions about their own bodies and lives,” the senators wrote. “But as President of the United States, you have the unique power to marshal the resources of the entire federal government to respond.”
Prior to the leaking of the Supreme Court draft opinion, Senate Republicans filibustered the Women’s Health Protection Act in February, legislation that would have codified federal protections for abortion access.
Watch Biden’s remarks below: