Skip to Content

Biden says ‘Roe is on the ballot’ this fall as Democrats consider options on abortion rights


By Kate Sullivan, CNN

President Joe Biden said Friday women’s health in the United States is now at risk after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion and he outlined steps his administration is taking to attempt to mitigate the effects of the ruling.

The President acknowledged there is no unilateral action he can take to restore the nationwide right to an abortion and urged Americans to elect more members of Congress in November who will support legislation protecting access to abortion.

“This fall, Roe is on the ballot,” Biden said, speaking from the White House. “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.”

Biden said his administration would defend the right of a woman to travel to another state to receive an abortion if the procedure is outlawed in her home state. The President is also directing the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure FDA-approved medication abortion is “available to the fullest extent possible.”

“It’s a sad day for the court and for the country,” Biden said.

He said, “This decision is a culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law. It’s a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court, in my view.”

The White House has been bracing for the ruling from the nation’s highest court, which was announced Friday morning, and has been planning next steps for months.

While there is little the President can do through executive action to fully mitigate the decision, there are a number of steps Biden has been weighing in consultation with policy aides, political advisers and lawyers.

Some of the options the President has been considering include eliminating barriers to accessing medication abortion and challenging state laws that criminalize out-of-state travel to receive an abortion, CNN has reported. The President could also declare a public health emergency, which could shield doctors from legal liability if they treat patients in states where they are not licensed.

The President has also called for Congress to pass legislation codifying Roe v. Wade, but Democrats currently don’t have the votes in the Senate to send such legislation to Biden’s desk.

The President said earlier this month he believed that if the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, it would spur a “mini revolution” and propel Americans to vote many Republicans out of office in this year’s midterm elections.

Democratic officials and abortion rights groups expressed outrage in response to Friday’s ruling.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the ruling as “outrageous and heart wrenching.”

“What this means to women is such an insult. It’s a slap in the face to women about using their own judgment to make their own decisions about their reproductive freedom,” Pelosi said during a news conference on Friday.

“This is deadly serious,” Pelosi said, stressing that “reproductive freedom is on the ballot in November.”

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts told CNN’s Erica Hill, “I am spitting mad over this. We have six extremist justices on the United States Supreme Court who have decided that their moral and religious views should be imposed on the rest of America. This is not what America wants.”

This story and headline have been updated with additional developments Friday.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

CNN Newsource


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content