WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden on Friday (Jun 24) criticised the US Supreme Court ruling overturning the landmark Roe v Wade decision on abortion, saying the health and life of American women are now at risk.
"It's a sad day for the court and for the country," Biden said in a White House address after the ruling, which he said was taking the country back 150 years.
Empowering states to ban abortion makes the United States an outlier among developed nations on protecting reproductive rights, the Democratic president added.
Biden urged Congress to pass a law protecting abortion rights, an unlikely proposition given its partisan divisions.
Biden said his administration will protect women's access to medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration including pills for contraception and medication abortion, while also combating efforts to restrict women from traveling to other states to obtain abortions.
Biden promised to go on fighting for reproductive rights but said no executive order can guarantee a woman’s right to choose.
He urged voters to send lawmakers to Congress who will work to codify abortion rights as the law of the land.
"This fall, Roe is on the ballot. Personal freedoms are on the ballot," Biden said, referring to the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision making abortion legal nationally.
Biden made a point of calling for any protests to remain peaceful. "No intimidation. Violence is never acceptable," he said.