Jen Psaki stresses the 'serious risk' that overturning Roe poses to nationwide reproductive liberty

Jen Psaki stresses the 'serious risk' that overturning Roe poses to nationwide reproductive liberty
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki (screengrab/@cspan/Twitter).

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki delivered a lengthy and detailed statement when asked about the impending Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade and Republicans’ war on both abortion and contraception.

“I think we’re at serious risk,” Psaki told a reporter asking about Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s threat to enact a nationwide ban on abortion.

“As you noted Mitch McConnell and other Republicans in Congress are talking about a national ban on a woman’s right to choose,” she continued, noting “dozens and dozens of Republicans in Congress signed on to the Mississippi court case and advocating for severe restrictions on a woman’s right to choose, and a woman’s right to make choices about her own body.

“And we’ve seen in other places in the country,” she added, pointing to the Governor of Mississippi’s refusal to state “whether they would directly go after the right to use contraception.”

“So as the President has said, over the course of the last nearly week, his concern is about yes, a woman’s right to make choices about her own health care, about what this final [Supreme Court] opinion could be. It’s also about what choices could be made that go beyond that. I’d also note that Louisiana legislators advanced a bill to classify abortion as homicide which would allow women to terminate their pregnancies to be charged with murder and potentially criminalized in vitro fertilization and forms of birth control. So in some ways, yes, you’re seeing an outcry by the nearly two thirds of the public and many of them peacefully protesting, who are concerned about what this opinion will say, but you’re also seeing a number of Republicans in states and some in Congress double down on this potential to overturn a law that has been the law of the land for 50 years.”

Responding to a different question Psaki warned, “when we’re talking about Roe, Roe has been the precedent for a number of other laws passed by the Supreme Court that impacts people’s fundamental lives, their basic rights, their freedoms, their privacy and their protections, including if you look back Griswold v. Connecticut, Eisenstaedt v. Baird, which ensured the right to use contraception was protected. That is law now, but we are clear-eyed about this being a precedent for that and what could come next. Obergefell v. Hodges, which protects the right to marry. Lawrence v. Texas, which stops government from preventing sexual relationships between consenting adults. For 50 years Roe has been the basis for a number of these decisions that have have impacted and change people’s lives, in our view for the better.”

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