President Joe Biden on Friday called for peaceful protests of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, denouncing planned violence by radical pro-abortion groups.
“I call on everyone, no matter how deeply they care about this decision, to keep all protests peaceful. Peaceful. Peaceful. Peaceful,” Biden said in an address on the court’s 6-3 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “No intimidation; violence is never acceptable.”
“Threats and intimidation are not speech,” the president continued. “We must stand against violence in any form, regardless of your rationale.”
The president’s comments follow threats from the terrorist pro-abortion group Jane’s Revenge, which has distributed flyers around Washington, D.C., calling for a “night of rage” against the Supreme Court’s decision. This group has previously taken credit for firebombings and acts of vandalism committed against pro-life organizations and churches all over the country in the past two months.
“THE NIGHT SCOTUS OVERTURNS ROE V. WADE HIT THE STREETS,” the fliers read. “YOU SAID YOU’D RIOT.”
“TO OUR OPPRESSORS: IF ABORTIONS AREN’T SAFE, YOU’RE NOT EITHER,” Jane’s Revenge said.
The calls for violence prompted Republican lawmakers to urge the Biden administration to protect churches and pro-life pregnancy centers in the coming days.
“President Biden has a Constitutional duty to keep Americans safe–he must direct the Justice Department to deter and prevent violence against Supreme Court Justices, churches, and pro-life pregnancy centers. Now. Before it’s too late,” House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Friday.
Earlier this week, the White House denounced the threats from Jane’s Revenge.
“Violence and destruction of property have no place in our country under any circumstance. And the president denounces this action,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Wednesday.
“Actions like this are completely unacceptable regardless of our politics,” Jean-Pierre added. “So we have denounced that and we will continue to denounce any violence or threats.”
President Biden called the court’s ruling a “tragic error” in his address and blasted the Republican-appointed justices in the majority as extreme.
He promised that if Democrats prevail in the upcoming midterm elections, they will take federal action to secure the right to abortion.
“Let me be very clear and unambiguous. The only way we can secure a woman’s right to choose, the balance that existed, is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade as federal law. No executive action from the president can do that,” Biden said.
The president urged voters to “make their voices heard” in the upcoming midterm elections, asking for Democrats to be given expanded majorities to codify abortion protections in federal law.
“This fall Roe is on the ballot,” Biden said.
In the meantime, the president announced several executive actions he will take to protect abortion access nationwide, including access to abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives. Biden will direct the Department of Health and Human Services to increase the availability of so-called medication abortions to the “fullest extent possible,” but he was vague on specifics.
He also said the federal government will defend the “bedrock right” of women in pro-life states to travel out of state to seek abortions.
“If any state or local official, high or low, tries to interfere with a woman exercising her basic right to travel, I will do everything in my power to fight that deeply un-American attack,” Biden said.