Amid panic and outrage on the left over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to let stand a strict Texas law limiting abortion, President Joe Biden on Thursday declared his intention to initiate a “whole-of-government” attack on the ability of state legislatures to enact restrictions on the procedure and protect the lives of the unborn, as Fox News reports.
Last week, by a vote of 5-4, the high court permitted the Texas statute – the most stringent anywhere in the nation – to take effect and essentially ban all abortions after the point at which a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat, which is typically around six weeks’ gestation.
In reaction to the court’s decision, Biden blasted the law as “extreme” and an “unprecedented assault on women’s constitutional rights” that “unleashes unconstitutional chaos and empowers self-anointed enforcers to have devastating impacts,” referencing the statute’s provision that permits private citizens to sue those assisting the performance of illegal abortions.
As such, Biden indicated that he had directed the Office of White House Counsel as well as the administration’s Gender Policy Council to engage with the Department of Justice and the Health and Human Services Department to explore any “legal tools we have to insulate woman and providers from the impact of Texas’ bizarre scheme of outsourced enforcement to private parties,” as NBC News noted.
A statement issued by Attorney Merrick Garland on Thursday seemed to confirm his department’s involvement in efforts to battle back against the Texas law – the survival of which some fear may lead to the passage of similar statutes in other states – by saying that the DOJ is “deeply concerned about Texas SB 8,” adding that his staff would be “evaluating all options to protect the constitutional rights of women, including access to abortion.”
In addition to Biden’s pledge to bring the force of the federal government to bear against a law duly enacted by the Texas legislature, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also promised to bring to a vote in the lower chamber a bill designed to codify the Supreme Court’s pivotal 1973 ruling in the case of Roe v. Wade and to prevent states from limiting access to abortion or imposing restrictions on when the procedure can be performed.
“When we go back to Washington, we will be putting Roe v. Wade codification on the floor of the House, to make sure that women everywhere have access to the reproductive health that they need,” said Pelosi, according to Fox News.s
Interestingly, in his defiant response to the Supreme Court’s decision allowing the Texas law to stand, Biden stated that he does not believe that life begins at the moment of conception, marking a categorical flip-flop from the position he took in 2015, when he said, “I’m prepared to accept that the moment of conception is a human life and being,” as the New York Post noted.
As he has done throughout his decades in Washington, Biden has once again demonstrated that nothing he says or does is grounded in any particular guiding principle, but rather that his decisions are driven entirely by the prevailing political winds, a trait wholly unsuitable for America’s commander in chief.