"It's a sad day for the court and for the country," President Biden told the nation Friday after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. With about half of the states moving toward nearly complete bans on abortions, "the health and life of women in this nation is now at risk," he said. Speaking from the White House, the Hill reports, the president called the ruling "a tragic error" and said, "This is an extreme and dangerous path the court is now taking us on." Still, Biden said, the fight for abortion rights is not over.
His administration will do what it can to protect access to abortion, Biden said, per CNBC, but he noted that his authority is limited. So he urged voters to elect state and federal lawmakers who will support abortion rights, starting with the midterm elections in November. "We need to restore the protections of Roe as law of the land," Biden said. "We need to elect officials who will do that." Only federal law can guarantee access, he said, per CNN, adding, "No executive action from the President can do that."
Biden doesn't usually mention the president he succeeded, but he attributed Friday's ruling to former President Trump. "It was three justices, named by one president, Donald Trump, who were the core of today's decision to upend the scales of justice and eliminate a fundamental right for women in this country," Biden said. For Trump and his supporters, the president said, the overturning of Roe v. Wade after a 50-year effort is "a realization of an extreme ideology." (Trump, for his part, praised the court's decision.)