Politicians make a lot of promises when they run for president, and they don’t always get to follow through if they win. So it went with Joe Biden, who inspired record turnout by, among other things, vowing to enact a slew of progressive legislation. One of them was not only ensuring Roe v. Wade, which has kept abortion safe and legal in all 50 states since 1973, would stay in place but actually making it a federal law.
Well, a year and a third into his presidency and guess what? On Monday night, Politico reported a leaked draft from Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito all but confirming they were about to overturn Roe v. Wade. Democrats have had control of the White House and both branches of Congress since late January 2021, and yet it’s unlikely they’ll even be able to codify the landmark decision, which they tried and failed to do in February, partly thanks to stubborn senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. And now women’s right to choose — and perhaps other rights as well — could be doomed.
When news of the leak broke, there was much dismay and fury. People dug up old clips of moderate Republican senator Susan Collins defending future justice Brett Kavanaugh, who is poised to vote to overturn the decision, and saying it was “settled law.” Many also dug up an old tweet from Biden himself, back when he was on the campaign trail. In late June of 2020, Biden reacted strongly to a Supreme Court decision keeping Roe v. Wade in place, in reaction to Republicans’ mounting efforts to erode it.
Today’s decision reaffirmed that states can’t put in place laws that unduly burden a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions—but the fight isn’t over. As President, I’ll codify Roe v. Wade and protect a woman’s constitutional right to choose. https://t.co/qFrH8hFst8
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 29, 2020
“Today’s decision reaffirmed that states can’t put in place laws that unduly burden a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions—but the fight isn’t over,” he tweeted almost two years back. “As President, I’ll codify Roe v. Wade and protect a woman’s constitutional right to choose.”
Granted, it was a long time ago and much has happened since. So people politely reminded him.
Guess what dude? The time is today. https://t.co/TmViCobnRV
— Kelly Carlin (@kelly_carlin) May 3, 2022
— kristina (@fctnOVRrlty) May 3, 2022
— Chris Hackney @ A-Kon 2022 (@ChrisHackneyGGK) May 3, 2022
Some pointed out that keeping one of his campaign promises might help his dismal poll numbers.
“We don’t understand why Biden’s numbers are tanking in his own party” https://t.co/WHLp5VIoi6
— Nick (@NickZararis) May 3, 2022
And others responded with gallows humor, because what else can you do?
Imagine what this guy could do as President https://t.co/o4oP3oI4U0
— MikeMorbius (@Mikelennial) May 3, 2022
Despite the leak, the Supreme Court’s decision likely won’t be made official until June, leaving a lot of time for some action to be made.