Biden stops short of lauding Supreme Court abortion pill ruling, citing Roe

June 13, 2024

President Biden on Thursday stopped short of celebrating the Supreme Court ruling to preserve access to the abortion pill mifepristone, saying that the fight for reproductive freedom in the U.S. is an ongoing matter.

“Today’s decision does not change the fact that the fight for reproductive freedom continues. It does not change the fact that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade two years ago, and women lost a fundamental freedom. It does not change the fact that the right for a woman to get the treatment she needs is imperiled if not impossible in many states,” Biden said in a statement shortly after the opinion was issued.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a unanimous decision that a group of anti-abortion doctors does not have any legal basis to challenge access to mifepristone. The opinion, written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, sided with the Biden administration and the manufacturer of the branded version of mifepristone.

In his statement, Biden said that while the ruling means medication abortion remains available and approved, attacks on mifepristone “are part of Republican elected officials’ extreme and dangerous agenda to ban abortion nationwide.”

He noted that 21 states have passed what he deemed as extreme abortion bans since Roe v. Wade was overturned two years ago and argued that contraception and in vitro fertilization “are under attack.”

“The stakes could not be higher for women across America. Vice President Harris and I stand with the vast majority of Americans who support a woman’s right to make deeply personal health care decisions,” Biden said. “We will continue to fight to ensure that women in every state get the health care they need and we will continue to call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law — that is our commitment.”

Vice President Harris, in a statement distributed by the Biden-Harris campaign, blamed former President Trump — who often touts the overturning of Roe v. Wade came as the result of the conservative justices he appointed to the high court during his term — for the reason women are living under “cruel abortion bans.”

“The contrast is stark: While Trump relentlessly attacks reproductive freedoms, President Biden and I will never stop fighting to protect them. Americans have repeatedly made it clear they want more freedom, not less, and they will make their voices heard at the ballot box once again this November.

Harris has been made the face of the White House’s efforts on abortion, and she has delivered speeches in which she centers on Trump and Republican efforts to limit reproductive rights.

But the president, too, has had to balance hot-button issues with his own 2024 reelection campaign, including the delicate issue of abortion as a Catholic, which the church opposes. The high court’s ruling comes just one day before Biden is set to meet Pope Francis at the Group of Seven summit in Italy.

Abortion has served as a key issue for Democrats since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, landing the party surprise wins in that year’s midterm elections, which Democrats hope to repeat this year.

Updated 12:05 p.m.