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While Thousands Marched for Life, Here's How the White House Responded

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

On Friday, thousands participated in the first post-Roe March for Life, where Townhall was on the ground conducting interviews and speaking with pro-lifers there. Several pro-life legislators--both Democrats and Republicans--appeared at the pre-March rally encourage the crowd, and others sent well-wishes from social media. That wasn't so when it comes to the Biden administration, though. 


Just as then White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki did for last year's March for Life, her successor, Karine Jean-Pierre promoted President Joe Biden's legislative priority of "making sure that it’s--it becomes law," referring to Roe v. Wade becoming law. The narrative has been to claim that this would merely "codify" Roe,  though the legislation in question, the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA), would radically expand Roe. Under the WHPA, abortion would be legal until the moment of birth in all 50 states without any restrictions. 

During Friday's press briefing, Jean-Pierre took several questions on Roe v. Wade.

One reporter asked about how Vice President Kamala Harris is appearing in Florida on Sunday, which marks 50 years since Roe v. Wade was decided. 

Jean-Pierre lamented how Florida is considering a supposedly "even more extreme ban on the books," going on to offer "so it is important in this moment that we are currently in." 

Florida also happened to be the first state Harris visited after what Jean-Pierre referred to as "the devastating situation that we--that we received just, you know, a couple of months ago." If the press secretary was talking about Dobbs, it was actually almost seven months ago now. "And so, again, you know, this is--this is something that, after the Dobbs decision, so it’s--we felt, she felt it would be a good state for the 50th anniversary, which would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade," Jean-Pierre continued. 


Another reporter asked about Harris' Sunday plans, but also "does the President have a message for the people at the right — the March for Life march."

While Jean-Pierre said that they support "peaceful speech" and the "peaceful march," she did make clear "we do not agree with" that pro-life view. Instead, she reiterated their pro-abortion focus. "We--you know, we want to make sure that we continue to underscore the ongoing attacks on women’s rights to make their heal--their own healthcare decision," she went on to say, which she said is something the administration "has taken very seriously." She also reiterated that they are going to continuously ask Congress to pass legislation, especially "into the next couple of days."

Jean-Pierre even brought up the midterms, and how "voters made themselves very clear" in that they "want us to make sure--here, in Congress and at the White House and the federal government--that we protect our--people’s rights, you know?" 

While Democrats performed better than expected in last November's midterms, Republicans still took control of the House, where the WHPA will never pass. In fact, pro-life initiatives have already passed there just weeks into the 118th Congress. 

Another reporter asked about what the president is doing next. Jean-Pierre's non-answer involved offering that they are looking at "the tools that the president has in front of him," which could include even more executive orders. The orders Biden has already signed have raised concerns about violating federal law, particularly when it comes to the Hyde Amendment.


Jean-Pierre went on to reiterate that they are calling on "Congress to act," which, is what we're "going to continue to hear from this president" and "what you’re going to continue to hear from the vice president."

The press secretary also pointed reporters to a proclamation that Biden signed on Friday in light of what would have been the 50th anniversary on January 22. 

The lengthy statement is full of problematic points from the start. "The Court got Roe right 50 years ago.  It was a balanced decision with broad national consensus that the majority of Americans have continued to support for the last 50 years," it reads early on. 

While Roe does enjoy popular support, it's likely because people misunderstand what it entails. It legalized abortion on demand in all 50 states, and its companion case of Doe v. Bolton made it legal up until birth. When asked about Roe in a different way, as to if they support abortion throughout all nine months or judges being the one to decide laws, Americans do not support Roe. It was hardly "a balanced decision with broad national consensus," as it did anything but settle the abortion question. 

In addition to fear-mongering about abortion in this country, the proclamation goes on to also tout Biden and Harris' actions on the issue. 

"Still, we know that the only way to truly secure the right to choose is for the Congress to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade. I continue to call on the Congress to pass legislation to make those protections the law of the land once and for all. Until then, I will continue to use my Executive authority to protect women and families from harm in the wake of the Dobbs decision," the proclamation from Biden later read, in a particularly forceful way. 


Towards the end, Biden's proclamation called on the country to honor abortion advocates, many of whom are radical and violent. "I call upon Americans to honor generations of advocates who have fought for reproductive freedom, to recognize the countless women whose lives and futures have been saved and shaped by the Roe v. Wade decision, and to march forward with purpose as we work together to restore the right to choose."

Additionally, there was also a White House meeting with several members of the administration where they "convened legislative leaders from eight states where reproductive rights are on the line this session." While the readout again called for taking legislative action, it also acknowledged that the abortion decision now goes to the states. 

Fortunately, with the House now under Republican control, the WHPA will never pass Congress. While it did pass the House during the 117th Congress under Democratic control, it couldn't even gain a majority in a Democratically-controlled Senate, never mind overcome the filibuster. 

As one of those pro-life legislators at the March for Life, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) also reminded that Republican House leadership is pro-life, and that among the pro-life initiatives passed include the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which mandates babies born alive from abortion receive medical care, as well as a resolution condemning the surge of violence against pro-life organizations, including pregnancy centers and churches. 


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