Jun 26, 2022

President Biden Delivers Remarks on the Supreme Court Decision 6/24/22 Transcript

President Biden Delivers Remarks on the Supreme Court Decision 6/24/22 Transcript
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President Biden delivers remarks on the Supreme Court decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overturn Roe v. Wade. Read the transcript here.

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Joe Biden: (00:00)
Today is a, it’s not hyperbole. It suggests a very solemn moment today. The Supreme Court of the United States expressly took away a constitutional right from the American people that it had already recognized. They didn’t limit it. They simply took it away, and it’s never been done to a right so important to so many Americans, but they did it. It’s a sad day for the court and for the country. 50 years ago, Roe V. Wade was decided and has been the law of the land since then. This landmark case protected women’s right to choose, her right to make intensely personal decisions with her doctor, free from the interference of politics. It reaffirmed basic principles of equality, that women have the power to control their own destiny, and it reinforced a fundamental right of privacy, the right of each of us to choose how to live our lives.

Joe Biden: (01:07)
Now with Roe gone, let’s be very clear. The health and life of women in this nation are now at risk. As Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as Vice President, now as President of the United States, I’ve studied this case carefully. I’ve overseen more Supreme Court confirmations than anyone today, where this case was always discussed. I believe Roe V. Wade was the correct decision, as a matter of constitutional law and application of the fundamental right to privacy and liberty in matters of family and personal autonomy. It was a decision on a complex matter that drew a careful balance between a woman’s right to choose earlier in her pregnancy and the state’s ability to regulate later in her pregnancy, a decision with broad national consensus, that most Americans of faith and backgrounds found acceptable, that have been the law of the land for most of the lifetime of Americans today.

Joe Biden: (02:17)
It was a constitutional principle upheld by justices appointed by Democrat and Republican Presidents alike. Roe V. Wade was a seven to two decision, written by justice appointed by a Republican President, Richard Nixon. In the five decades that followed Roe V. Wade, justices appointed by Republican Presidents from Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, George W. Bush were among the justices who voted to uphold the principles set forth in Roe V. Wade. It was three justices named by one President, Donald Trump, who are the core of today’s decision to upend the scales of justice and eliminate a fundamental right for women in this country. Make no mistake. This decision is a culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset balance of our law. It’s a realization of an extreme ideology in a tragic error by the Supreme Court, in my view.

Joe Biden: (03:23)
The court has done what it’s never done before, expressly take away a constitutional right, that is so fundamental to so many Americans, that had already been recognized. The court’s decision to do so will have real and immediate consequences. State laws banning abortion are automatically taking effect today, jeopardizing the health of millions of women, some without exceptions, so extreme that women can be punished for protecting their health, so extreme that women and girls were forced to bear their rapist’s child, or the child of consequence. It just stunt me. So extreme that doctors will be criminalized for fulfilling their duty to care. Imagine having a young women having to carry a child of incest, as a consequence of incest. No option. Too often the case. The poor women are going to be hit the hardest. It’s cruel.

Joe Biden: (04:40)
In fact, the court laid out state laws, criminalized abortion that go back to the 1800s as rationale. The court literally, taking America back 150 years. This is a sad day for the country in my view, but it doesn’t mean the fight’s over. Let me be very clear and unambiguous. The only way we can secure women’s right to choose, and the balance that existed, is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe V. Wade as federal law. No executive action from the President can do that. If Congress, as it appears, lacks the vote to do that now, voters need to make their voices heard. This fall, you must elect more Senators and Representatives who will codify a women’s right to choose into federal law once again, elect more state leaders to protect this right at the local level. We need to restore the protections of Roe as law of the land.

Joe Biden: (05:51)
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. Until then, I will do all in my power to protect a woman’s right in states where they will face the consequences of today’s decision. While the Court’s decision casts a dark shadow over a large swath of the land, many states in this country still recognize a woman’s right to choose. So, if a woman lives in a state that restricts abortion, the Supreme Court’s decision does not prevent her from traveling from her home state to the state that allows. It does not prevent a doctor in that state from treating her.

Joe Biden: (06:47)
As the Attorney General has made clear, women must remain free to travel safely to another state to seek care they need. My administration will defend that bedrock right. If any state or local official, high or low, tries to interfere with a woman exercising her basic right to travel, I will do everything in my power to fight that deeply un-American attack. My administration will also protect a woman’s access to medications that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA, like contraception, which is essential for preventative healthcare, Mifepristone, which the FDA approved 20 years ago to safely end early pregnancies, and is commonly used to treat miscarriages.

Joe Biden: (07:38)
Some states are saying that they’ll try to ban or severely restrict access to these medications, but extremist governors and state legislators are looking to block the mail or search the person’s medicine cabinet or control the woman’s actions by tracking data on her apps she uses, are wrong and extreme and out of touch with the majority of Americans. The American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists wrote to me and Vice President Harris stressing that these laws are not based on evidence, and asking us to act to protect access to care. They say, by limiting access to these medicines, maternal mortality will climb in America. That’s what they say.

Joe Biden: (08:29)
Today, I’m directing the Department of health and Human Services to take steps to ensure these critical medications are available to the fullest extent possible, and the politicians cannot interfere in the decisions that should be made between a woman and her doctor. My administration will remain vigilant as the implications of this decision play out. I’ve warned about how this decision risked the broader right to privacy for everyone. That’s because Roe recognized the fundamental right to privacy that has served as a basis for so many more rights that we’ve come to take for granted that are ingrained in the fabric of this country, the right to make the best decisions for your health, the right to use birth control, a married couple in the privacy of their bedroom for God’s sake, the right to marry the person you love. Now, Justice Thomas said as much today. He explicitly called to reconsider the right of marriage equality, the right of couples to make their choices on contraception.

Joe Biden: (09:45)
This is extreme and dangerous path the Court’s now taking us on. Let me close with two points. First, 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. Threats and intimidation are not speech. We must stand against violence in any form, regardless of your rationale. Second, I know so many of us are frustrated and disillusioned that the Court has taken something away that’s so fundamental. I know so many women are now going to face incredibly difficult situations. I hear you. I support you. I stand with you. The consequences and the consensus of the American people, core principles of equality, liberty, dignity, and the stability of the rule of law demand that Roe should not have been overturned.

Joe Biden: (11:03)
With this decision, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court shows how extreme it is, how far removed they are from the majority of this country. They’ve made the United States an outlier among developed nations in the world. But this decision must not be the final word. My administration will use all of its appropriate lawful powers, but Congress must act. With your vote, you can act. You can have the final word. This is not over. Thank you very much. I’ll have more to say this in weeks to come.

Audience: (11:43)
Mr. President, [inaudible 00:11:50]

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