Biden Continues to Shit on Abortion Rights

Biden's one campaign pitch is to save abortion rights, but every chance he gets, he can't seem to stop disavowing abortion.

Biden Continues to Shit on Abortion Rights

In the days before President Biden gives the final State of the Union address of his first term, a new interview has Biden—whose main campaign pitch is that he’d save abortion rights from a second Trump term—taking yet another needless swipe at the issue. Speaking to the New Yorker for a rare print interview published Monday, the president said his plan to protect abortion access is to “pass Roe v. Wade as the law of the land.” Not a great start, seeing as this is wildly unspecific and the Supreme Court precedent left too many people without abortion access for years. Still, he could have just stopped right there.

Somehow, he managed to make his comments much worse: “I’ve never been supportive of, you know, ‘It’s my body, I can do what I want with it,'” he added, for quite literally no reason. “But I have been supportive of the notion that this [Roe] is probably the most rational allocation of responsibility that all the major religions have signed on and debated over the last thousand years.”

What does he even mean by this??? I need him, or whichever comms person is half-assing their job at feeding him talking points on this issue, to attempt some soul-searching and truly interrogate what it means to not be supportive of someone being able to do what they want with their body. Because at this point, all I can really visualize right now is Biden internally cringing and trembling at the “MY BODY, MY CHOICE” posters his own supporters bring to his rallies.

Trashing abortion or, in this case, women and pregnant people’s bodily autonomy seems to have become Biden’s go-to schtick, though it’s entirely unclear why. We’ve been over this before: Abortion is more popular than Biden is. People who sincerely oppose abortion are probably going to vote Republican anyway, so I don’t know who he’s courting here at a time when every other day there’s a new report about people denied life-saving emergency abortions under state bans. Really, what is with this pathological obsession with shitting on abortion—the same issue he’s praying will bail him out of sinking poll numbers—when it’s already banned for so many people?

In February, Biden told a room full of rich donors in Manhattan, “I’m a practicing Catholic. I don’t want abortion on demand, but I thought Roe v. Wade was right.” That was almost verbatim what he said at a different fundraiser over the summer: “I’m a practicing Catholic. I’m not big on abortion. But guess what? Roe v. Wade got it right.” A couple of issues with this, as I’ve previously written for Jezebel: Many practicing Catholics do support abortion rights: In 2020, 68% of Catholic Americans said they opposed the overturning of Roe. A 2014 survey showed about a quarter of people who had abortions identified as Catholic.

In an ideal world, in the days before his State of the Union address on Thursday, our president would be speaking to the dystopian nightmare of life almost two years without Roe, as anti-abortion politicians and organizations trip over themselves to try to enact fetal personhood and criminalize doctors and patients. In that ideal world, Biden would be addressing how hostility and suspicion toward pregnant patients led to Brittany Watts of Ohio facing felony charges for a miscarriage after being reported to police by her nurse. Biden would also be addressing the horrific reproductive health crises that his administration is actively helping to inflict on women and children across Gaza, and demand an immediate ceasefire. Instead, our ostensibly pro-choice president is declaring to the world that he’s “never been supportive of… ‘It’s my body, I can do what I want with it.'”

As if Biden’s comments opposing bodily autonomy weren’t befuddlingly bad enough, elsewhere in the same interview, he cites conservatives like famed Harvard misogynist Larry Summers and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (who’s screwed us all over in more ways than I could even begin to list here) as some of his go-to, behind-the-scenes advisers. Yet we’re told that Biden—the same man who recently offered to ally with former President Trump on immigration—is our last progressive lifeline. Biden even had the audacity to express confidence that he’d win on reproductive rights—the same issue he seems ambivalent about at best: Per the New Yorker, Biden said, “A few more elections like we’ve seen taking place in the states” would suffice, in apparent reference to abortion rights ballot measures and pro-choice candidates winning in red states. “You’re seeing the country changing.”

We could all argue with his nonsense, wildly offensive talking points until the cows come in, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing that could rationalize simultaneously running on abortion and trashing it.

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