‘That Didn’t Answer Either Question’: Jean-Pierre Won’t Say Whether Biden Supports Any Abortion Restrictions

[Screenshot/Rumble/White House press briefing]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday dodged a reporter’s question on whether President Joe Biden supports any restrictions on abortion after he vowed earlier that day to codify Roe v. Wade.

RealClearPolitics White House reporter Philip Wegmann asked two questions. First, whether the president’s proposed codification of Roe would reverse individual states’ abortion restrictions implemented before the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe. And second, whether the president would support any restrictions on abortion.

“What the president is going to do, and wants to do and believes in doing is codifying Roe,” Jean-Pierre answered. “He believes that is what was law of the land, a constitutional right for almost 50 years and he believes, in its specific provisions, was rightly decided. He has said this regularly, including right after Dobbs, and that has not changed.”

“Right, but that didn’t answer either question. First of all, there are individual state restrictions on abortion in the books currently around the country,” Wegmann responded. “Some of those existed before the Dobbs case, before the overturn of Roe. Would the president, with this bill to codify Roe — does he want that bill to go farther?” (RELATED: ‘Why Not Get Into Specifics?’: Doocy, Jean-Pierre Spar On Abortion Restrictions) 

“I just answered that question, he believes in Roe and how it stood before the Dobbs decision,” she answered. The 1973 Roe decision legalized abortion nationwide up until the point of fetal viability, around 22 weeks. States remained free to restrict the procedure beyond that point.

When Wegmann repeated his question about whether the president supports any restrictions, the press secretary encouraged him to read the Roe v. Wade decision to understand the president’s stance on abortion.

The president promised during a Tuesday address that he would enshrine the provisions of Roe v. Wade in federal law if the Democrats are able to keep control of the House and win a clear majority in the Senate in November’s the midterm elections.

“The first bill I will send to the Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade. And when Congress passes it, I’ll sign it in January, 50 years after Roe was first decided the law of the land,” Biden said.

The White House and several prominent Democratic candidates have remained unwilling to be make clear statements on what abortion restrictions, if any, they would support. Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman told a reporter in May that he does not support any restrictions on abortion.

While remaining silent on whether Biden favors limiting abortion in any way, Jean-Pierre has criticized Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s proposal to implement a national abortion ban after 15 weeks gestation to protect unborn children capable of feeling pain.

All Senate Democrats, except for West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, voted in May for legislation that would have ended federal bans on partial-birth and sex-selective abortions. The bill would also would have also overridden state and local laws requiring a woman to be presented with an ultrasound before undergoing the procedure.