In her first public comments on the issue since the Supreme Court rescinded the constitutional right to an abortion on Friday, first lady Dr. Jill Biden slammed the decision by the justices to uphold a Mississippi ban and overturn Roe vs. Wade.
"This decision was so unjust — and so devastating," she told CBS News in an interview in Madrid, where she is traveling for a NATO summit.
The first lady urged supporters of abortion rights to make their voices heard between now and the midterm elections in November.
"My message is, let's not give up, let's keep working. And if that means getting out there, everyone has to get out there and work hard during the elections," she said. "We cannot go back."
Her comments echoed a similar argument from her husband on Friday. In a speech from the White House just hours after the Supreme Court decision was announced, President Biden said, "This fall, Roe is on the ballot, personal freedoms are on the ballot, the right to privacy, liberty, equality — they're all on the ballot."
Democrats argue that the only way to fully restore abortion rights would be to codify it in law. But that would likely require a larger Democratic majority in the Senate — or a change to Senate rules.
The Supreme Court decision did not come as a complete surprise to White House officials. A draft majority opinion that closely resembles the final opinion was leaked to Politico in May. At the time, the first lady called the draft ruling "shocking."
First published on June 28, 2022 / 12:04 PM
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