Biden calls Florida court ruling on abortion ‘outrageous’

April 2, 2024

President Biden chastised what he called an “extreme” Florida Supreme Court ruling upholding the state’s 15-week abortion ban and triggering an even more restrictive policy.

“Yesterday’s extreme decision puts desperately needed medical care even further out of reach for millions of women in Florida and across the South,” Biden said Tuesday in a statement.

“The Court not only upheld Florida’s current ban on women being able to make their own reproductive choices, it will likely trigger Governor DeSantis’ even more extreme law that would prevent women from accessing care before many even know they are pregnant,” he continued. “It is outrageous.”

Biden warned Florida’s restrictions on abortion access, like those passed in other states, “take away women’s freedom to make their own health care decisions and threaten physicians with jail time simply for providing the medical care that they were trained to provide.”

The president noted the court ruling approved a ballot measure that will protect abortion access if voters pass it in November, giving Floridians a chance to make their voices heard on the issue.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting reproductive freedom in Florida and across the nation and will continue to call on Congress to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade in every state,” Biden said.

The Florida court decision handed down Monday marked the latest shockwave in the fight over abortion access following the June 2022 Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.

The decision means a separate six-week ban will be triggered and will take effect on May 1 — banning abortion before many women know they are pregnant. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the six-week ban into law last year, just before he announced his presidential run. 

Even with a 15-week ban, Florida has become a haven for women seeking abortions from other states with even stricter laws, so the change in policy will be felt across the Southeast and beyond, as the influx of patients puts a strain on out-of-state abortion clinics. Virginia is now the only state in the South that allows abortion beyond the first trimester. 

Abortion has been a major motivator for Democratic voters in the nearly two years since the Supreme Court decision overturned the federal right to abortion access, and Biden and his campaign have used it as a rallying force heading into November’s general election matchup with former President Trump.

The Biden campaign released a new ad Tuesday following the decision in the Sunshine State, focusing specifically on Trump’s comments taking credit for ending Roe v. Wade by appointing three conservative Supreme Court decisions.

“Donald Trump doesn’t trust women. I do,” Biden says in the ad, which will air in battleground states on national cable and local broadcast and cable television and during shows like “Saturday Night Live,” “The Voice,” and “American Idol.”