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Statement on the Leaked Draft Opinion of the United States Supreme Court Overruling Its 1973 Decision in Roe v. Wade

May 03, 2022

We do not know whether this draft is genuine or whether it reflects the final decision of the Court. With that critical caveat, I want to be clear on three points about the cases before the Supreme Court.

First, my administration argued strongly before the Court in defense of Roe v. Wade. We said that Roe is based on "a long line of precedent recognizing 'the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty' . . . against government interference with intensely personal decisions." I believe that a woman's right to choose is fundamental, Roe has been the law of the land for almost 50 years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned.

Second, shortly after the enactment of Texas law S.B. 8 and other laws restricting women's reproductive rights, I directed my Gender Policy Council and White House Counsel's Office to prepare options for an administration response to the continued attack on abortion and reproductive rights, under a variety of possible outcomes in the cases pending before the Supreme Court. We will be ready when any ruling is issued.

Third, if the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our Nation's elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman's right to choose. And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November. At the Federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement on the Leaked Draft Opinion of the United States Supreme Court Overruling Its 1973 Decision in Roe v. Wade Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/355703

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