Joe Biden criticises top court for making ‘terrible decisions’

Published on Jun 25, 2022 11:22 PM IST
  • “Jill and I know how painful and devastating the decision is for so many Americans,” he said with First Lady Jill Biden at his side.
People in the US gather to protest the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade. (AFP)
People in the US gather to protest the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade. (AFP)
Agencies |

President Joe Biden criticised the US Supreme Court for making “terrible decisions”, a day after it struck down the constitutional right to abortion. Biden commented during a signing ceremony on Saturday for gun safety bill he supports, though he continued to sidestep questions about reforms to the court sought by some Democrats.

“I think the Supreme Court has made some terrible decisions,” the president said after signing the bill when a reporter asked whether the court was broken. He didn’t respond to other questions, such as on court or filibuster reform, before heading off to Europe for international summits.

Biden began his remarks on guns by renewing his condemnation of the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v Wade. He said his administration will do what it can to enforce what laws still stand, such as allowing people to cross state lines to seek health services.

“Jill and I know how painful and devastating the decision is for so many Americans,” he said with First Lady Jill Biden at his side. “We’re going to take actions to protect women’s rights and reproductive health.”

Biden has warned that executive authority is substantially limited, leaving him few or no options to fill the gaps created by the overturning of Roe v Wade. He has called on Congress to instead pass a law codifying Roe - though there aren’t sufficient votes for that in the current Congress - and for voters to elect more Democrats.

Also, Biden has directed the Department of Health and Human Services to make sure that mifepristone, an abortion drug, can be prescribed by telehealth and through pharmacies, and to make sure insurers don’t stop covering contraceptives, including emergency contraceptives, an official familiar with the process said on Friday.

The Department of Justice will support the right to travel, and look to intervene in cases on behalf of people facing legal action for travelling to receive an abortion, the official said.

Biden’s G7 allies aghast

After the US Supreme Court’s decision, Biden’s allies in G7 abandoned diplomatic niceties to express their dismay.

“No government, politician or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, adding that he “can’t imagine the fear and anger” women in the US must be experiencing in the wake of the ruling.

France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, added in a tweet that “abortion is a fundamental right of all women”.

The UK prime minister, shackled with his own problems back home, was quick to comment. “I’ve got to tell you, I think it’s a big step backwards,” he said at a news conference during a visit to Rwanda.

The heads of G7 nations - the US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan - are to meet in a luxurious castle in Germany’s Alps on Sunday.

The key focus is what to do about Russia four months after its invasion of Ukraine. But the political bombshell that just dropped in the US immediately struck a chord beyond American borders.

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