White House press secretary Jen Psaki was questioned during Thursday's media briefing about why President Joe Biden, who is a Roman Catholic, supports abortion. When she was asked about who the president thinks should look out for the unborn, Psaki fired back at the male questioner by noting that he has never been pregnant or faced such a decision.
"Why does the president support abortion when his own Catholic faith teaches abortion is morally wrong?" the reporter inquired. According to Fox News, the question came from Owen Jensen, a reporter with Eternal World Television Network (EWTN), a Catholic news organization.
Psaki stated that Biden "believes that it's a woman's right, it's a woman's body and it's her choice."
The reporter followed up by asking who Biden thinks "should look out for the unborn child?"
"He believes that it's up to a woman to make those decisions and up to a woman to make those decisions with her doctor. I know you've never faced those choices, nor have you ever been pregnant, but for women out there who have faced those choices, this is an incredibly difficult thing," she said.
White House press secretary Psaki holds news conference (FULL - 9/2) youtu.be
President Biden issued a statement criticizing the Supreme Court's decision in a 5-4 vote not to block Texas's heartbeat bill that prohibits most abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected, or as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
"The Supreme Court's ruling overnight is an unprecedented assault on a woman's constitutional rights under Roe v. Wade, which has been the law of the land for almost fifty years," Biden said in the statement.
The law, which took effect Sept. 1, includes an exception for medical emergencies.
While the law does involve criminal penalties, it allows individuals to lodge a civil action against those who conduct or induce an abortion in violation of the law and against those who knowingly participate in activity that "aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion," which has been conducted or induced in breach of the law. Claimants who succeed will receive statutory damages of at least $10,000 as well as costs and attorney's fees.
"One reason I became the first president in history to create a Gender Policy Council was to be prepared to react to such assaults on women's rights," President Biden said in his statement. "Hence, I am directing that Council and the Office of the White House Counsel to launch a whole-of-government effort to respond to this decision, looking specifically to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to see what steps the Federal Government can take to ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions as protected by Roe, and what legal tools we have to insulate women and providers from the impact of Texas' bizarre scheme of outsourced enforcement to private parties."