Eva Deschamps / June 25, 2022
U.S. President Joe Biden said Friday that the Supreme Court’s decision overturning abortion rights was a tragic mistake and the result of extremist ideology.
The health and lives of women in this country are now at risk, the Democrat hammered in the wake of the landmark ruling, lamenting a sad day for America, which is now the exception in the world.
This decision is the result of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law, he said.
The nine-judge court, which will long bear the stamp of the American religious right following Donald Trump’s appointments, is literally taking America back 150 years by invoking ancient jurisprudence, he lamented in the grand lobby of the White House. Women in key White House positions gathered to listen to the president’s remarks, in a heavy silence and with grim faces.
The president asked his compatriots to continue the fight in a peaceful way, and especially to defend at the ballot box the right to abortion and all other personal freedoms in the run-up to the mid-term legislative elections, which are expected to be difficult for his Democratic camp.
Joe Biden, whose popularity is wavering, promised to do everything in (his) power, by way of decrees and regulatory decisions, to try to protect access to voluntary termination of pregnancy, now threatened in half of the American states.
The president pledged to protect the right of American women to travel to a state where abortion would remain legal, as well as access to abortion pills, used in early pregnancy.
But he acknowledged that he had little room for manoeuvre and that only the US Congress could restore this right, which all American women have enjoyed since 1973, by passing federal legislation that would override the decisions of the states – especially those in Republican hands.
The president, a 79-year-old devout Catholic who has become an unlikely bulwark of abortion rights, also warned that Friday’s ruling could have repercussions on other gains: contraception and marriage for all. The Court is taking us down an extremely dangerous path, he said.