It’s ‘non-negotiable’: Biden, Harris vow to defend abortion rights in wake of SCOTUS ruling upholding Texas law

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris both vowed to defend abortion rights following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week upholding a Texas law, with the VP deeming the issue “non-negotiable.”

Harris was responding to the high court’s ruling in which a majority of justices backed Texas’ law, which bars abortions after a fetal heart tone is detected, which is normally around six weeks. The court also ruled that a lawsuit by abortion providers could proceed even though attorneys for Texas argued that the way in which the law was written made it so that parties were not permitted to sue until it was enforced.

“As far as I’m concerned, and as far as our administration is concerned, a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body is non-negotiable,” said Harris, who went on to claim that the ruling is an “attempt to undo” Supreme Court precedent.

The vice president made her remarks after former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) was sworn in to become U.S. Ambassador to Turkey.

Biden also questioned the high court’s ruling later on.

“I am very concerned by the Supreme Court’s decision to allow SB8 to remain in effect in light of the significant consequences that law has for women in Texas and around the country, and for the rule of law,” he said in a statement. “I am deeply committed to the constitutional right recognized in Roe v. Wade nearly five decades ago.”

He also claimed that there is “so much more work to be done” in states like Texas and Mississippi, where he said “women’s rights are currently under attack” amid new abortion restrictions.

Harris, meanwhile, also said that the administration plans to “continue to fight for the constitutional right of all women to make decisions about their own body without interference” by legislative bodies.

Fox News added that the high court’s ruling is a procedural one and not the final word on whether the Texas statute is constitutional.

The law is unique in that it does not empower a state agency to enforce it but rather permits individual state residents to sue any abortion provider who performs the procedure in violation of the statute.

“Our Administration will always fight to defend the right of women to make decisions about their own bodies. It is non-negotiable,” Harris declared in September.

Also in September, the Biden Justice Department vowed to protect Texas abortion clinics, with Attorney General Merrick Garland suggesting that they may become targets of violence despite the fact that none had been subjected to attacks beforehand.

“While the Justice Department urgently explores all options to challenge Texas SB8 in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion, we will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act,” he said in a statement.

“The FACE Act prohibits the use or threat of force and physical obstruction that injures, intimidates, or interferes with a person seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services,” he continued.

“It also prohibits intentional property damage of a facility providing reproductive health services. The department has consistently obtained criminal and civil remedies for violations of the FACE Act since it was signed into law in 1994, and it will continue to do so now,” he added.

Jon Dougherty


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