White Houses says Roe v. Wade needs to be codified by Congress to protect abortion rights

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called Texas’ Heartbeat Act an “extreme threat” to Roe v. Wade Wednesday, reiterating President Joe Biden’s calls for the codification of the landmark abortion ruling.

Reporters repeatedly questioned the White House press secretary about Texas’ new law, which went into effect at midnight Wednesday unhampered by any action from the Supreme Court, though abortion providers had filed emergency requests to block its enforcement.

“The step that can be taken is the codification of Roe,” she said, “something the president and the vice president have called for, and would require Congress to act on.”

“This is not the first threat to Roe that we’ve seen across the country,” she continued. “It’s an extreme threat. Again, I would just note, this is offering up to $10,000 to individuals who report someone who is going to get an abortion. That is what we’re talking about here. And beyond that, as I’ve outlined. So yes, it’s of great concern.”

Psaki also said that this “is not the first time that there have been efforts by some in this country to prevent a woman from having the right to choose.”


The Heartbeat Act bans abortions after the unborn baby‘s heartbeat can be detected, usually around 6 weeks. The law allows “any person” to sue doctors, abortion clinics, or anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion.”

Those who sue over an abortion may be awarded $10,000 “for each abortion” the defendant performed, induced, aided, or abetted in violation of the law — monetary amounts that some pro-abortion advocates are calling “bounties.”

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Mary Margaret Olohan on September 1, 2021


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