This Thursday, Fox correspondent Peter Doocy questioned Biden administration press secretary Jen Psaki about plans for protests in favor of abortion rights after the leak of a draft majority opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that would overturn the court’s Roe v. Wade decision. Activists evidently intended to protest outside Supreme Court Justices’ houses — something that fundamentally isn’t the main issue here and obviously isn’t something in which the Biden administration has relevantly substantive involvement. Biden’s team has more to do than opine from rhetorical sidelines about protest plans.
Psaki promptly shut down Doocy’s questioning, which deceptively glossed over the actual seriousness of what’s at stake. If the Roe decision is overturned, handling abortion rights would be left up to state officials — and Republicans across the country would no doubt leap at the chance to oversee the implementation of strict bans on most abortions. Certain states have laws already in place that would automatically ban most abortions if the Roe decision is overturned. “So would the President think about waving off activists that want to go into residential neighborhoods in Virginia and Maryland?” Doocy asked. Biden isn’t somehow pulling puppet strings behind these protesters. There’s no confirmation that him “waving them off” — whatever exactly that means — would have an effect.
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.):
"There is no other recourse. We must abolish the filibuster in order to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, and we must expand the Supreme Court in order to reclaim the stolen seats, and restore balance and the faith of the American people."
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) May 3, 2022
“Peter, look, I think our view here is that peaceful protest — there’s a long history in the United States and the country of that,” Psaki noted in response. “And we certainly encourage people to keep it peaceful and not resort to any level of violence.” Simple enough, right? Doocy continued, asking: “These activists posted a map with the home addresses of the Supreme Court Justices. Is that the kind of thing this President wants to help your side make their point?” Again — crediting Biden for the actions of disparate activists is frankly kind of ridiculous. “Look, I think the President’s view is that there’s a lot of passion, a lot of fear, a lot of sadness from many, many people across this country about what they saw in that leaked document,” Psaki replied. “We obviously want people’s privacy to be respected. We want people to protest peacefully if they want to protest. That is certainly what the President’s view would be.”
A stolen, illegitimate, and far-right Supreme Court majority appears set to destroy the right to abortion, an essential right which protects the health, safety, and freedom of millions of Americans. There is no other recourse. We must expand the court.
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) May 3, 2022
Asked yet again by Doocy about the protest plans, Psaki replied: “I don’t have an official U.S. government position on where people protest. I want it — we want it, of course, to be peaceful. And certainly, the President would want people’s privacy to be respected. But I think we shouldn’t lose the point here: The reason people are protesting is because women across the country are worried about their fundamental rights that have been law for 50 years. Their rights to make choices about their own bodies and their own healthcare are at risk. That’s why people are protesting. They’re unhappy. They’re scared.” If the Roe decision is overturned, abortion restrictions could go into effect in dozens of states, affecting millions upon millions of people, although there’s still time for the alignment of the Justices on this issue to shift before the court’s final opinions are released in late June. Senate leaders plan to soon vote on measures to make abortion rights specifically established components of federal law, although they don’t appear to have enough votes to pass the proposal.
Rhode Island's highest court has upheld a state law guaranteeing its citizens' right to abortion. The law effectively secures the abortion rights set out in Roe v. Wade.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 6, 2022