Politics & Policy

Psaki Scolds Reporter for Asking How Biden Squares Abortion Stance with Catholicism

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., September 2, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki scolded a reporter during Thursday’s briefing for asking how President Biden reconciled his Catholicism with his support for abortion.

“Why does [Biden] support abortion when his own Catholic faith teaches abortion is morally wrong?” EWTN’s Owen Jensen asked.

Psaki dismissed the question on the grounds that Jensen lacked the authority to comment on a “women’s rights issue.”

“I know you’ve never faced that choice,” Psaki said.

“I know you’ve never been pregnant,” she added.

The comment seemed to contrast with the administration’s commitment to gender inclusivity. In June, it was discovered that Biden’s 2022 budget proposal  supplanted the word “mothers,” referring to women who both deliver a baby and raise a child, with the phrase “birthing people.” The CDC has also regularly used the language “pregnant people” in its public health guidance over the last year.

Biden issued a statement Thursday condemning the Supreme Court’s majority decision not to review the Texas law and claiming it will unleash “unconstitutional chaos.”  He argued the law violated Roe v. Wade by encroaching on a women’s right to abortion, which he called “critical reproductive care.”

The law has an unusual enforcement mechanism by which private citizens are empowered to sue medical providers who perform an abortion, rather than deferring enforcement to the state government. Women who undergo the procedure to terminate their pregnancy will not be penalized under the law.

While the bench handed a victory to pro-life advocates Thursday, the per curium, the unsigned court opinion from the majority, acknowledged the possibility that the high court could engage with and grant consideration to the law again if litigation results from its implementation.

“It is unclear whether the named defendants in this lawsuit can or will seek to enforce the Texas law against the applicants in a manner that might permit our intervention,” the opinion read.

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