White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki avoided answering a direct question about the leaked early opinion draft that indicated the Supreme Court might be poised to overturn the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade.
Even when asked specifically — twice — whether President Joe Biden would accept a decision overturning Roe as “legitimate,” Psaki redirected the conversation and did not provide an answer.
WATCH: Jen Psaki refuses to explicitly answer say whether the Biden administration would accept a SCOTUS ruling striking down Roe v. Wade as "legitimate."
She also laments how abortions of Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics babies would plummet. pic.twitter.com/KBGEPyT7kx
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) May 4, 2022
“If the Supreme Court does move to strike down Roe, should Americans be prepared to just accept that decision as legitimate and would President Biden accept that decision as legitimate?” one reporter asked.
“Well, I can’t speak for what actions could be possible on the legal front, I would point you to the Department of Justice on that,” Psaki began. “What I can tell you will happen is — and this is what we are preparing for the possibility of — that if Roe were to fall, abortion would probably be illegal in about half the states in the country, up to 26 states.”
Psaki went on to lament the number of states that had already passed abortion restrictions — and the thirteen states that had implemented “trigger laws” which would impose restrictions if the Court ruled to overturn Roe.
“As a result of all of this, tens of million of women may lack access to reproductive health care services as soon as this summer if that were a decision to be made,” Psaki continued. “What we’re really focused on is the impact this would have — it would dramatically reduce access to reproductive care particularly for women with low incomes, women of color, women in rural communities.”
Psaki complained that women in the affected states might not be able to afford the necessary travel costs if they wanted to get an abortion but their state was among those that had imposed tighter restrictions or banned the procedure altogether.
“It sounds like you’re saying then that’s a yes, he would consider this a legitimate decision,” the reporter pressed again.
“Well, there is not even a decision yet,” Psaki pushed back. “We don’t know the validity of the — we know that this is a leaked document, it is not the final opinion, so I just can’t speak to that hypothetically.”