White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki lashed out at a male reporter for asking how President Biden could support abortion rights despite his Catholic faith, telling him “its a woman’s right” to decide before scolding him in saying, “you’ve never faced those choices nor have you ever been pregnant” to understand.
The back and forth exchange was regarding the Texas abortion bill signed into law just a day ago, with the Supreme Court denied hearing the emergency appeal. The Texas law, one of the strictest pro-life laws since Row v. Wade, prohibits abortions at six weeks and allows private citizens to bring legal action against anyone who assisted in terminating the pregnancy, such as those who drive a pregnant woman to an abortion clinic for her appointment. The only exception granted under the law is for a “serious medical emergency” where the doctor must prove that a woman could either die or face serious bodily impairment if she doesn’t carry out aborting the fetus.
Global Catholic Network DC reporter Owen Jensen asked Psaki about Biden’s abortion stance, despite “his own Catholic faith teaches abortion is morally wrong.”
“Following up on the Texas law, why does the president support abortion when his own Catholic faith teaches abortion is morally wrong?” Jensen asked Psaki during Thursday’s daily press briefings.
Biden believes that abortion is “a woman’s right, a woman’s body, and it’s her choice,” Psaki responded.
Jensen pressed further, asking, “Who does he believe then should look out for the unborn child?”
“He believes that it’s up to a woman to make those decisions. And up to a woman to make those decisions with her doctor,” Psaki fired back in response. “I know you’ve never faced those choices, nor have you ever been pregnant, but for women out there who have faced those choices, this is an incredibly difficult thing. The president believes that right should be respected.”
Biden, who in the past opposed abortion and supported the Hyde Amendment that bans on taxpayer funding of abortion until 2019, slammed the Supreme Court’s ruling, calling it an “unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights under Roe v. Wade,” and directed the Gender Policy Council and the Office of the White House Counsel to begin a “whole-of-government” response to see what Federal actions can overrule the Texas abortion law.
“By allowing a law to go into effect that empowers private citizens in Texas to sue health care providers, family members supporting a woman exercising her right to choose after six weeks, or even a friend who drives her to a hospital or clinic, it unleashes unconstitutional chaos and empowers self-anointed enforcers to have devastating impacts,” Biden said in a statement Thursday.
“Rather than use its supreme authority to ensure justice could be fairly sought, the highest Court of our land will allow millions of women in Texas in need of critical reproductive care to suffer while courts sift through procedural complexities,” Biden added.
Psaki said during the briefing that the president is “eager to sign into law” a bill codifying Roe v. Wade, but the White House is still weighing their options on the proposed Women’s Health Protection Act.