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Biden says basic U.S. rights are at risk if Supreme Court draft decision stands

High court acknowledged draft is authentic, but noted that it does not represent a final decision
A crowd of people gather outside the Supreme Court early Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in Washington. A draft opinion suggests the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a Politico report released Monday. Whatever the outcome, the Politico report represents an extremely rare breach of the court’s secretive deliberation process, and on a case of surpassing importance. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Joe Biden says the explosive Supreme Court draft decision on abortion could pose a serious threat to a wide range of basic American rights.

Biden says the rationale of the draft decision, reported late Tuesday by Politico, suggests that decisions flowing from the constitutional right to privacy could now be in danger.

The draft, which has yet to be voted on by the court, would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that effectively guaranteed the right to an abortion.

The high court acknowledged earlier today that the draft is authentic, but noted that it does not represent a final decision or opinion.

Supporters and opponents of abortion alike descended again on the steps of the Supreme Court today, much as they did after dark on Tuesday, shortly after word of the draft was leaked.

Midterm elections in November are widely expected to deliver a drubbing to Democrats, and Biden says it could be up to voters to protect abortion rights.

“If the court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose,” the president said in a statement.

“And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November.”

Biden also signalled a willingness to sign into law a bill that would codify abortion rights, although that would be impossible without control of Congress. The Democrats are widely expected to lose that control before next year.

“I think the codification of Roe makes a lot of sense,” Biden said Tuesday before leaving the White House on a trip to Alabama.

“The idea that we’re going to make a judgment that is going to say that no one can make the judgment to choose to abort a child based on a decision by the Supreme Court, I think, goes way overboard.”

—The Canadian Press

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