White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki spoke with eloquence and poignancy on Monday when asked about the possibility that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that gave women in the United States the right to make their own reproductive choices without government interference, may soon be struck down by at least five right-wing, reactionary members of the current high court.
Asked by a reporter about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) threat to enact a federal ban on abortion if Republicans retake control of Congress after the midterm elections, Psaki replied:
Referencing that Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) had indicated his state might also seek to enact legislation that would criminalize the use of contraception, Psaki added:
“So as the President has said, over the course of the last nearly week, his concern is about yes, a woman’s right to make choices about her own health care, about what this final [Supreme Court] opinion could be. It’s also about what choices could be made that go beyond that. I’d also note that Louisiana legislators advanced a bill to classify abortion as homicide which would allow women to terminate their pregnancies to be charged with murder and potentially criminalized in vitro fertilization and forms of birth control. So in some ways, yes, you’re seeing an outcry by the nearly two thirds of the public and many of them peacefully protesting, who are concerned about what this opinion will say, but you’re also seeing a number of Republicans in states and some in Congress double down on this potential to overturn a law that has been the law of the land for 50 years.”
A few minutes, in response to an other question about the possibility of Roe being overturned, Psaki noted:
“When we’re talking about Roe, Roe has been the precedent for a number of other laws passed by the Supreme Court that impacts people’s fundamental lives, their basic rights, their freedoms, their privacy and their protections, including if you look back Griswold v. Connecticut, Eisenstaedt v. Baird, which ensured the right to use contraception was protected. That is law now, but we are clear-eyed about this being a precedent for that and what could come next. Obergefell v. Hodges, which protects the right to marry. Lawrence v. Texas, which stops government from preventing sexual relationships between consenting adults. For 50 years Roe has been the basis for a number of these decisions that have have impacted and change people’s lives, in our view for the better.”
This country is supposed to be about self-governance as much as possible, especially on matters that are as personal as whether or not to have a child. Granted, the Founding Fathers didn’t directly address the issue of abortion or contraception, but consider these words from Thomas Jefferson: