President Biden Says Same-Sex Marriage, Other Rights at Risk If SCOTUS Overturns 'Roe' : 'Mark My Words'

The ramifications of a looming Supreme Court decision on abortion rights could affect Americans' freedoms and the upcoming midterm elections, Biden said at a Democratic fundraiser

Joe Biden
Joe Biden. Photo: JEFF J MITCHELL/POOL/AFP via Getty

President Joe Biden warned that a looming Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade could have ramifications beyond the right to abortion established by the historic case in 1973.

"It's not just the brutality of taking away a woman's right to her body ... but it also, if you read the opinion ... basically says there's no such thing as the right to privacy," Biden said Wednesday at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee in Chicago.

The president referenced a leaked draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito which states that Roe was "egregiously wrong" and that the decision, as well as another in 1992 that upheld it, "must be overruled."

"If that holds ... mark my words: They are going to go after the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage," Biden, 79, said.

Supreme Court Justices
Supreme Court justices. Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty

Another case, Griswold v. Connecticut, in which the court ruled in 1965 that the Constitution protects the right to privacy, preventing states from banning contraception, could also be overturned, Biden said.

Alito's draft opinion "basically says there is no such thing as a right to privacy," Biden warned at the fundraiser attended by roughly 40 people, according to White House pool reports.

The Supreme Court issued a statement after the leak confirming the authenticity of the draft but said it was not a final decision.

The breach caused an uproar among some lawmakers while protestors hit the streets across the country to express anger and opposition to the expected decision that would allow states to determine whether abortion will be legal within their borders.

roe v. wade
Protestors face off outside the Supreme Court after a draft opinion stating the intention to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

In a 49-51 vote earlier this week, the Senate decided against approving the Women's Health Protection Act, which passed in the House last year. The bill was intended to codify Roe v. Wade into a federal law ahead of the Supreme Court's official decision on abortion rights, which is expected in June.

All 50 Republicans voted against the bill, along with Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia. All other Senate Democrats voted in favor of passing.

"As we go forward, you're going to hear me talking more about what we've done and what they're trying to do," Biden said at the fundraiser on Wednesday, hinting at a strategy for countering what he called Republicans' "radical agenda" ahead of the November midterm elections.

A Supreme Court ruling ending the right to abortion could generate enthusiasm among Democrats, increasing voter turnout, the president suggested.

"I think we can pick up three Senate seats," Biden said, adding that an increase in Democrats' majority in the house is also possible. On the other hand, Biden continued, "if [Republicans] win back the House or the Senate, we've got a different world."

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