The Corner

Politics & Policy

Biden and Harris Celebrate Roe without Saying ‘Abortion’

Then–Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris and then–Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden greet supporters at an election rally in Wilmington, Del., November 7, 2020. (Andrew Harnik/Reuters)

In a statement from the White House, President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris celebrated today’s 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade and reiterated their campaign promise to expand legal abortion.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to codifying Roe vWade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe,” the statement announces, repeating the pledge that both candidates made during their respective primary runs.

Though a number of prominent Democratic politicians have promised to “codify Roe,” none of them have yet explained what exactly they mean in practice — an especially pertinent question considering that the Court’s holding in Roe is no longer the controlling decision. Some have suggested that the Democratic “Women’s Health Protection Act” might be the piece of legislation to which candidates are obliquely referring when they mention codification of Roe.

Perhaps most interesting, the statement manages to invoke several favored euphemisms of abortion supporters but, in four paragraphs, does not mention the word “abortion” once. They speak of “reproductive health” and “the right to choose,” and they promise to ensure “that all individuals have access to the health care they need.” But never do they speak the name of the procedure they are adamant about protecting.

It’s a funny thing to support abortion so absolutely yet be so hesitant about naming it.

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