Administration

Biden: ‘Range of rights’ in question if abortion opinion in leaked draft is final

President Joe Biden walks on the South Lawn of the White House after stepping off Marine One, Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Washington. Biden is returning to Washington after attending a memorial service for former Vice President Walter Mondale in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

President Biden on Tuesday said that other rights, including same-sex marriage and access to birth control, are in question if a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion which overturned Roe v. Wade becomes final.

“It basically says all the decisions relating to your private life — who you marry, whether or not you decide to conceive a child or not, whether or not you can have an abortion, a range of other decisions, how you raise your child — what does this do?” Biden told reporters before boarding Air Force One for a trip to Alabama.

“Does it mean that in Florida, they can decide they’re going to pass a law saying that same-sex marriage is not permissible? It’s against the law in Florida?” he added.

Biden called it a “radical decision” if it holds and added that it “could mean that every decision that could be made in the notion of privacy is thrown into question.”

He mentioned that the court’s 1965 decision in Griswold vs. Connecticut, which found that constitutional protections for privacy include married couples’ right to contraceptives, could be in question.

The president slammed members of the court for what he argued is a lack of acknowledgment of the Ninth Amendment and called it an “issue” of the Supreme Court that it has not acknowledged the right to privacy.

“One of the reasons why I voted against a number of the members of the court, they refused to acknowledge that there’s a Ninth Amendment, they refused to acknowledge there’s a right to privacy,” he said. “There’s so many fundamental rights that are effected by that. I’m not prepared to leave that to the whims of the public at the moment in local areas.”

Biden voted against the nomination of conservative Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the leaked draft majority opinion, in 2006 when he served in the Senate.

“A whole range of rights are in question, a whole range of rights. And the idea we’re letting the states make their decisions … would be a fundamental shift in what we’ve done,” Biden said.

“If it becomes the law and if what is written is what remains — it goes far beyond the concern of whether or not women have the right to choose. It goes to other basic rights, the right to marriage, the right to determine a whole range of things,” the president added.

“I think the decision of Roe was correct because there is a right to privacy. There can be limitations on it but it cannot be denied,” he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Biden declared that the right to have an abortion is “fundamental” and called on voters to elect more pro-abortion-rights officials at the federal level in November so that Democrats can pass legislation protecting abortion rights. 

Politico published the leaked document, a 67-page majority opinion, late Monday night. The document was reportedly drafted in February. It concludes that Roe and the Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey are not grounded in the Constitution.  

Tags Abortion Biden Birth control marriage equality Roe v. Wade Samuel Alito

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