Obamas Respond to Roe v. Wade Opinion

They argue illegal abortions will risk health and lives
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2022 7:45 AM CDT
Obamas Respond to Roe v. Wade Opinion
Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle arrive for the inauguration ceremonies of Joe Biden as the 46th President on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington.   (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

The Supreme Court looks poised to "reverse nearly 50 years of precedent" and "relegate the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues," according to former President Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, who've issued a concerned statement on the leaked Roe v. Wade opinion, per the Hill. It's "a blow … to all of us who believe that in a free society, there are limits to how much the government can encroach on our personal lives."

"What Roe recognized is that the freedom enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution requires all of us to enjoy a sphere of our lives that isn't subject to meddling from the state," they write, per Fox News. But the draft opinion doesn't balance personal freedoms with circumstances worthy of government intervention, like child abuse. It "simply forces folks to give up any constitutionally recognized interest in what happens to their body once they get pregnant. Under the Court's logic, state legislatures could dictate that women carry every pregnancy to term, no matter how early it is and no matter what circumstances led to it—even rape or incest."

Those without the means to travel or take time off work or school will seek out "illegal abortions that inevitably pose grave risks to their health, their future ability to bear children, and sometimes their lives. That's a result none of us should want," the couple adds before urging those who support abortion rights to protest, volunteer on campaigns, and to vote. "Because in the end, if we want judges who will protect all, and not just some, of our rights, then we’ve got to elect officials committed to doing the same." (Amazon just announced it will cover workers' travel expenses for abortion.)

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