Hours after a draft opinion of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision was leaked, showing that the overturning of Roe v. Wade is likely imminent, President Joe Biden threatened that his administration was prepared to undo the high court’s ruling.
“I directed my Gender Policy Council and White House Counsel’s Office to prepare options for an Administration response to the continued attack on abortion and reproductive rights, under a variety of possible outcomes in the cases pending before the Supreme Court,” Biden said in a statement Tuesday morning. “We will be ready when any ruling is issued.”
The ardent defense of Roe from the nation’s most powerful office stands in stark contrast to Biden’s past attempts to override the 1973 landmark abortion case while he was a senator from Delaware.
One month before Biden jumped into the crowded 2020 race for president, The New York Times outlined his record on abortion over his decades-long career. Biden was sworn into the Senate the same year the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade. In 1982, Biden, who was then ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, supported a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision that his own White House is now pledging to protect 40 years later.
“I’m probably a victim, or a product, however you want to phrase it, of my background,” Biden said at the time. Biden called his key vote “the single most difficult vote I’ve cast as a U.S. senator.”
The incumbent president’s abortion record would become anything but consistent throughout his career in Washington. He supported federal restrictions before opposing them based on the political headwinds.
National Review Senior Writer and former Federalist Senior Editor David Harsanyi highlighted on Twitter a 1994 letter from Biden where the future president bragged about opposing abortion funding 50 separate times.
Biden, whose faith as a Roman Catholic was routinely amplified by a friendly press throughout the 2020 contest, also voted for the Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 2003 and was described as a “reliable ally” of similar legislation in the ’90s. In fact, Biden complained that allowing partial-birth abortions didn’t go far enough.
“It did not, as I would have liked, ban all post-viability abortions,” Biden said on the Senate floor of a proposal in 1997.
When running for president in 2019, Biden reversed his four-decade support for the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding for abortion, the same week he professed his commitment to its protection.
“If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s ZIP code,” the former vice president said in Georgia to court the party faithful.
Biden’s flip to support the killing of babies in the womb has been controversial given his claims to be a faithful Roman Catholic. The church finds support for the procedure to be a serious violation of the faith and therefore worthy of one’s denial of communion. In 2019, Biden was denied communion at a South Carolina Catholic church on the campaign trail over his endorsement of abortion.
Despite his activism to protect nationwide abortion access, the corporate press has always elevated Biden as a “devout Catholic” to the ire of bishops within the church, who have also been antagonized by the president’s history of persecuting nuns.