George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley debunked several of President Joe Biden’s claims about the overturn Roe v. Wade during his speech and executive order signing on Friday.
Biden signed an executive order early Friday aimed at “protecting access to reproductive health.” In a speech, he vowed to protect women’s rights to contraception, interstate travel and their right to privacy.
Turley said the president’s interpretation of the Supreme Court decision in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that overturned Roe, is “unfair.”
“There were some unfair moments directed at the Court, not just repeatedly calling the justices extremists, but he says as you noted they didn’t consider the early English cases on abortion. That’s entirely and demonstrably untrue. You can disagree with how they view that history but to say that they ignored it was really quite unfair.”
He said the president’s suggestion that the right to contraception is on thin ice. Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion that abortion is distinguishable from other privacy rights established by the Court due to the procedure involving the “critical moral question” of ending the life of a pre-born human being. (RELATED: MSNBC Analyst Claims Supreme Court Will Bring Back Segregation)
“I’ve never seen a case where the Court repeatedly and expressly dismissed a future argument,” he said. “It comes back repeatedly to say this cannot be used to deny the right of contraception or to deal with interracial marriage or same-sex marriage. They repeatedly say they do not view this as analogous.”
During the speech, Biden pointed to a concurring opinion by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas stating the overturn of Roe v. Wade could be used to reconsider Court decisions decided under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, according to the transcript. He mentioned the cases Griswold v. Connecticut, Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges that guaranteed the rights to contraception and same-sex relationships.
Turley said Thomas is a critic of “substantive due process,” but did not say the right to interracial marriage should be overturned. He argued against Biden’s remarks about interstate travel, in which he vowed that his executive order would bolster a woman’s ability to travel across state lines for an abortion.
“All of this gets missed in this political atmosphere, but it was curious to see the focus on travel. Traveling interstate is clearly protected under the Constitution and the Supreme Court has said that repeatedly. Justice Kavanaugh went out of his way to say that this is one of those easy issues, he said clearly states cannot prevent women from leaving to get abortion services or any types of services.”
“Much of what the president said, I thought, was fairly inaccurate and at times quite unfair,” he said.
“Outnumbered” host Kayleigh McEnany pointed to Biden’s previous statements as a senator claiming abortion is not a right. He was a long time supporter of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortion, including exceptions for rape and incest.
“He was anti-abortion,” Turley replied. “But more importantly, he supported the Hyde Amendment which is going to become more relevant in the days to come.”