WASHINGTON, D.C. (KRON) — Press secretary Jen Psaki fired back at a reporter during Thursday’s White House press briefing.
A male reporter asked Psaki about President Joe Biden’s support for abortion rights after the Supreme Court declined to block a new Texas law that bans most abortions.
The reporter asked how the president could support abortion when his Catholic faith teaches abortion as morally wrong.
“He believes that it’s a woman’s right, it’s a woman’s body and it’s her choice,” Psaki simply responded — at first.
As Psaki pointed to another reporter for the next question, the same male reporter shouted out another question.
“Who does he believe then should look after the unborn child?” he asked.
And Psaki’s lengthier response to that follow-up question has since taken social media by storm.
“He believes that it’s up to a woman to make those decisions and up to a woman to make those decisions with her doctor,” she said. “I know you’ve never faced those choices, nor have you ever been pregnant, but for women out there who have faced those choices — this is an incredibly difficult thing. The president believes that right should be respected.”
Psaki moved on to the next reporter as the male reporter tried to continue speaking.
President Biden on Thursday blasted the Supreme Court’s decision not to block a new Texas law banning most abortions in the state and directed federal agencies to do what they can to “insulate women and providers” from the impact.
Hours earlier, in the middle of the night, a deeply divided high court allowed the law to remain in force. It is the nation’s biggest curb to abortion rights since the court announced in its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that women have a constitutional right to abortion.
The court voted 5-4 to deny an emergency appeal from abortion providers and others but also suggested that their order likely wasn’t the last word and other challenges can be brought.
Biden said in a statement that his administration will launch a “whole-of-government effort to respond to this decision” and look at “what steps the federal government can take to ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions as protected by Roe.”
Biden, who has come under pressure from Democrats to expand the size of the Supreme Court, has ordered a review of the court that is due next month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.