President Joe Biden wandered off script and into the abortion debate Tuesday, referring to the right to “abort a child,” in a mangled message that had staffers rushing in to whisk him away.
Critics seized on the decidedly off-message word choice, delivered as the president spoke to reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Camp Springs, Maryland, Tuesday morning. The gaffe came a day after Politico published a leaked draft of an upcoming Supreme Court decision that, if delivered, would overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case legalizing abortion.
“The idea that we’re gonna make a judgment that is going to say that no one can make the judgment to choose to abort a child based on a decision by the Supreme Court I think goes way overboard,” Biden said, before aides stepped in and ushered him away.
BIDEN: "The idea that we're gonna make a judgment that is going to say that no one can make the judgment to choose to abort a child based on a decision by the Supreme Court I think goes way overboard." pic.twitter.com/Kxr2D537LZ
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 3, 2022
Anti-abortion activists view fetuses as unborn children, but the pro-abortion rights side of the polarizing debate does not.
The draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, written by Justice Samuel Alito and reportedly signed by four conservative justices, would repeal the national right to abortion and leave it to states to make their own laws governing the procedure. The draft was leaked to Politico Monday night, in an unprecedented event that prompted Chief Justice John Roberts to call for an investigation. It is unclear when the decision will be officially released.
George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley called attention to the flip on Twitter.
“Biden’s defense of ‘aborting babies’ is not exactly how the Democrats want to frame the issue,” Turley tweeted.
Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) mocked the president for his word choice.
“Joe Biden is so aloof that he screwed up his Leftist talking point and said ‘abort a child’ not a clump of cells or any other term the Left wants to try and use to make abortion seem less evil,” Boebert tweeted.