President Joe Biden predicted Wednesday that if the Supreme Court officially overturns Roe v. Wade’s holding of a federal constitutional right to abortion, the court will next look to strike down other landmark cases guaranteeing Americans’ rights, from same-sex marriage to contraception access.
“It’s not just the brutality of taking away a woman’s right to her body … but it also, if you read the opinion … basically says there’s no such thing as the right to privacy. If that holds … mark my words: They are going to go after the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage,” said Biden, speaking at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago, according to pool reports.
The court, he said, would do the same for Griswold v. Connecticut – the 1965 ruling in which the court said the Constitution protects the right to marital privacy against state restrictions on contraception.
The President’s comments mark his most explicit warning to date of the possible ramifications of the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe, should it become official. His remarks come on the heels of a failed push by Senate Democrats to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act, aimed at preserving access to abortion nationwide.
“As we go forward, you’re going to hear me talking more about what we’ve done and what they’re trying to do,” Biden said Wednesday, according to the pool.
Biden, a lifelong devout Catholic, has said he is personally opposed to abortion because of his faith but does not believe he should impose his views on the rest of society. In response to the draft leak, the White House called on Congress to codify abortion protections in law – an effort that has stalled amid GOP resistance.
The President, according to the pool, went after the Republican Party on Wednesday night, referring to the GOP as “petty,” “extreme” and “cowered by (former President Donald) Trump.”
“The fact of the matter is, they run the show – the MAGA Republicans,” he said. “It really is beyond the pale.”
Biden has previously said that if the final Supreme Court opinion is issued along the lines of the draft, it would be a “radical decision” that would throw into question “a whole range of rights.”
On Wednesday night, he dubbed the Republican Party’s agenda “radical” and told the roughly 40 people in attendance at the fundraiser that “if they win back the House or the Senate, we’ve got a different world.”
The high court’s decision on abortion, Biden suggested, could generate some enthusiasm at the ballot box in November and help Democrats pick up seats in the Senate and the House, but the President acknowledged troubling economic news that has put his administration on the defensive in recent days.
“We can’t let this happen, guys. And it’s going to be hard. Because inflation is going to scare the living hell out of everybody,” Biden said.