First Lady Jill Biden said Tuesday that ongoing legal fights over the legality of abortion in several states “go far beyond the right to choose” as pregnant women face “devastating consequences to their health, their fertility and their lives.”
Biden’s comments came during a discussion with four women ahead of a formal event at the White House Saturday marking the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and returned the legality of abortion to the states. The case was decided on June 24, 2022.
“The consequences of these bans go far beyond the right to choose,” the first lady told the women. She then claimed doctors were denying some women medical treatment due to new laws imposed by state governments barring abortion procedures “because they don’t know which procedures are legal.”
“And like those who are with us today, far, far too many women are experiencing devastating consequences to their health, their fertility and their lives,” the FLOTUS added.
Biden’s guests included women from Texas, Florida and Louisiana, who shared emotional stories of being denied medical care during their pregnancies.
The Biden administration is hosting a formal event at the White House Saturday marking the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. (Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
One of the women, Anya Cook of Florida, said she was denied medical care when she was 16 weeks pregnant as her state passed a 15-week abortion ban. The incident “very, nearly killed” her, she said.
Another woman in the discussion was Dr. Austin Dennard, from Dallas, who said she decided to have an abortion but “this time I would have to flee my own state,” she said.
She joined a lawsuit filed by other Texas women who were denied abortions.
President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the first lady and Harris’ husband Doug Emhoff, are scheduled to appear at an event on Friday in Washington.
Harris is also scheduled to deliver a speech on Saturday in North Carolina on the Biden administration’s efforts to safeguard reproductive freedom.
Immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision, 18 states enacted partial or full abortion bans.