Psaki Says Biden ‘Committed to Codifying’ Roe v. Wade after Supreme Court Agrees to Revisit Precedent

POLITICS & POLICY
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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that President Biden is “committed to codifying” Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortionafter the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that will allow the justices to reconsider the precedent set by the landmark Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions.

During a press briefing, Psaki declined to comment on the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case, which involves a Mississippi law passed in 2018 that bans abortions after 15 weeks with limited exceptions.

She claimed, however, that “over the last four years critical rights like the right to healthcare” and “the right to choose” have been “under withering and extreme attack, including through draconian state laws.”

“The president and the vice president are devoted to ensuring that every American has access to health care including reproductive health care regardless of their income, race, health insurance status or immigration status,” she said.

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“As such, the president committed to codifying Roe … unrelated … to the outcome of this case,” she said.

The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, asks whether all pre-viability restrictions on abortion are unconstitutional.

The Mississippi law was blocked by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as under existing precedent, states may not ban abortions before fetal viability, which is typically around 22 weeks or later.

Mississippi is asking the justices to review the viability standard, arguing that the rule prevents states from defending maternal health and its interest in protecting life. 

“It is well past time for the Court to revisit the wisdom of the viability bright-line rule,” Mississippi attorney general Lynn Fitch wrote in a brief filed with the justices. 

It will be the first abortion case to be argued before the Supreme Court since Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed, creating a 6-3 conservative majority on the court.

The court will hear the case in its term beginning in October. It is likely to reach a decision by June of 2022.

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