WASHINGTON, D.C.—Evangelical Christians and Messianic Jews in the United States, in Israel and around the world – myself included – were deeply encouraged by U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark “Dobbs Decision” on Friday, considering it a miraculous answer to nearly 50 years of unceasing prayer.
Dobbs overturned the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 as deeply flawed and poorly argued.
The Court declared that there is not now, nor has there ever been, an actual “right” to abortion enshrined, much less defined, in the American Constitution.
Now, each of the 50 states may pass its own laws to abolish, restrict or allow abortions in accordance with the wishes of the people.
President Joe Biden, however, is furious.
Quickly after the decision was released, Biden rushed to the cameras to make a statement blasting the court, and calling the decision “cruel” and the ruling of “extremists.”
Biden certainly gave voice to the anger of millions of Americans who vehemently disagree with the High Court’s decision and believe that a woman has a fundamental – almost sacred – right to kill the unborn child in her womb, for any and all reasons, before it is born.
The president positioned himself as the nation’s leading proponent of – and defender of – abortion “rights.”
What’s more, Biden launched a frontal attack against the Supreme Court justices who comprised the majority in overturning Roe, and made it seem like the majority’s logic was as ridiculous and nonsensical as it was offensive.
What Biden didn’t say was that for decades he held the exact same views.
Biden once strongly opposed abortion;
For years, Biden opposed the Roe v. Wade decision;
Biden actually supported a nationwide ban on abortion; and
Biden even once voted in the Senate for a constitutional ban on abortion.
Indeed, Biden’s comments on Friday were so filled with factual and historic inaccuracies that it’s really worth examining them more closely – and then asking: Why did Joe Biden, once such a staunch, Catholic, pro-life Democrat, switch sides to being so staunchly pro-abortion?
DID THE HIGH COURT TAKE AWAY A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT?
“Today is a very solemn moment,” Biden said on Friday. “Today, the Supreme Court of the United States expressly took away a constitutional right from the American people that it had already recognized. They didn’t limit it. They simply took it away. That’s never been done to a right so important to so many Americans.”
Not accurate. Not even close.
First, as the Dobbs decision explicitly explains in great detail (in a document over 200 pages long), “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion….The Constitution makes no express reference to a right to obtain an abortion….The Court finds that the right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition.”
Writing the majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito noted that, “Guided by the history and tradition that map the essential components of the Nation’s concept of ordered liberty, the Court finds the Fourteenth Amendment clearly does not protect the right to an abortion. Until the latter part of the 20th century, there was no support in American law for a constitutional right to obtain an abortion. No state constitutional provision had recognized such a right. Until a few years before Roe, no federal or state court had recognized such a right. Nor had any scholarly treatise. Indeed, abortion had long been a crime in every single State. At common law, abortion was criminal in at least some stages of pregnancy and was regarded as unlawful and could have very serious consequences at all stages. American law followed the common law until a wave of statutory restrictions in the 1800s expanded criminal liability for abortions. By the time the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted, three-quarters of the States had made abortion a crime at any stage of pregnancy. This consensus endured until the day Roe was decided. Roe either ignored or misstated this history, and Casey declined to reconsider Roe’s faulty historical analysis.”
In Roe and Casey, the Supreme Court invented a constitutional “right” to an abortion that simply never existed.
Thus, in Dobbs, the court is not taking away a right. It is correcting a historic inaccuracy and making it clear there was never such a right to kill one’s own unborn baby.
What’s more, the court is affirming that the people – through their government representatives – absolutely have the right to defend an unborn baby’s right to life.
Second, Biden is arguing that the court has never before reversed itself.
In his decision, Alito goes on for page after page listing Supreme Court decisions that later justices overturned upon more careful reflection and review.
For example, the U.S. Constitution and multiple Supreme Court decisions once declared that Americans had the “right” to own slaves.
But millions of Americans vehemently opposed slavery and worked hard over decades to persuade Congress and the High Court to correct this terrible injustice, and ultimately the anti-slavery movement prevailed.
WHY DOESN’T BIDEN ADMIT THAT HE WAS ONCE STRONGLY PRO-LIFE?
“Fifty years ago, Roe v. Wade was decided and has been the law of the land since then,” Biden said on Friday.
“This landmark case protected a woman’s right to choose, her right to make intensely personal decisions with her doctor, free from the interference of politics. It reaffirmed basic principles of equality – that women have the power to control their own destiny. And it reinforced the fundamental right of privacy – the right of each of us to choose how to live our lives.”
Biden went on to say that no one understands the issues at stake here better than him.
“As Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as Vice President and now as President of the United States, I’ve studied this case carefully. I’ve overseen more Supreme Court confirmations than anyone today, where this case was always discussed.
“I believe Roe v. Wade was the correct decision as a matter of constitutional law, an application of the fundamental right to privacy and liberty in matters of family and personal autonomy.”
He called the court’s decision “cruel” and “a tragic error.”
He called pro-life governors and legislators “extremists.”
He said that the “conservative majority of the Supreme Court shows how extreme it is, how far removed they are from the majority of this country. It made the United States an outlier among developed nations in the world.”
Then he insisted that “the only way we can secure a woman’s right to choose and the balance that existed is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade as federal law.”
Yet these are private beliefs and public positions that are 180 degrees opposite of what Biden himself long believed and promoted.
For years in public life, Biden described himself as a conservative Democrat, opposed to abortion and Roe v. Wade.
Consider the record:
In 1974, Biden told the Washingtonian magazine, “When it comes to civil rights and civil liberties, I’m a liberal but that’s it. I’m really quite conservative on most other issues. My wife said I was the most socially conservative man she had ever known.”
In fact, in 1974 Biden went on to say, “When it comes to issues like abortion, amnesty, and acid, I’m about as liberal as your grandmother. I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far. I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body.”
“In 1977, Biden voted against a compromise that would have allowed Medicaid funding of abortions in cases of rape, incest or where the life of the mother was a concern,” reported US News & World Report.
In 1982, Biden voted for a constitutional ban on abortion. On March 11 of that year, the New York Times reported the following: “The Senate Judiciary Committee today approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would enable Congress and individual states to adopt laws banning abortion. By a vote of 10 to 7, the panel endorsed a measure sponsored by Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, that seeks to reverse the 1973 Supreme Court decision upholding the right of women to seek abortions. The vote today marked the first time that a full Congressional committee had supported an anti-abortion amendment and opened the way for a full-fledged floor debate on the issue….In seeking to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision on abortion, the amendment says, ‘A right to abortion is not secured by this Constitution’…..Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware…voted in favor of the proposed amendment. In addition to Mr. Biden, one other Democrat, Senator Dennis DeConcini of Arizona, supported the proposed amendment.”
In 1994, “Biden boasted to have voted against federal funding for abortion ‘on no fewer than 50 occasions,” reported Rolling Stone magazine.
“Until he was running for president in 2019, he [Biden] supported the Hyde amendment banning the use of federal funds for abortions,” stated US News & World Report.
In 2006, Biden said he did not view abortion as a right but rather a tragedy. “I do not view abortion as a choice and a right,” he said. “I think it's always a tragedy, and I think that it should be rare and safe, and I think we should be focusing on how to limit the number of abortions. And there ought to be able to have a common ground and consensus as to do that.” [Click here to see a video of Biden saying this.]
In 2007, Biden wrote a book called, “Promises to Keep,” in which he stated that he doesn’t think he has “a right to impose my view on the rest of society,” NBC News has reported – yet now in 2022 he wants to impose his support for abortion by passing a federal law creating a federal right to abortion on demand.
WHY DID BIDEN SWITCH SIDES ON THE ABORTION DEBATE?
Clearly, Biden publicly and repeatedly took pro-life positions for many years during his career, and voted for many times for pro-life legislation without embarrassment or regret.
What, then, changed?
Why has Biden switched sides on the abortion debate?
And why does he now accuse those who hold the same view that he held for decades “extremists”?
The answer seems clear enough: Once Biden decided that he wanted to be president of the United States, he realized he could never win the nomination in the Democratic Party with a pro-life position.
Only voicing a staunchly pro-abortion position would give him the opportunity to win the nomination and the presidency.
So, Biden flip-flopped.
And it worked.
Biden won the Democratic nomination in the summer of 2020.
He won the presidency in November 2020.
And now Biden is aggressively attacking pro-life Americans as extremists and seeking to impose his newfound support for abortion on demand on all Americans by passing federal legislation making abortion once again the law of the land.
What a tragic journey from courageous defender of innocent unborn lives to the nation’s leading politician promoting the taking of innocent unborn lives at any time and for any reason.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.