President Biden on Tuesday said that he is not big on abortion as a practicing Catholic but defended the reproductive rights that were previously granted under Roe v. Wade.
“I’m a practicing Catholic. I’m not big on abortion, but guess what? Roe vs. Wade got it right,” Biden said at a fundraiser with about 100 donors in Chevy Chase, Md.
He also criticized states that have passed laws restricting access to abortion. Over 20 states have passed such laws since the Supreme Court ending the roughly 50-year precedent set by Roe that guaranteed a right to an abortion.
Biden is the second Catholic president in U.S. history, following former President John F. Kennedy. On Saturday evenings, he is often found attending Catholic mass either in Wilmington, Del., or in Washington, D.C., and the White House has repeatedly said that his faith is very personal to him.
The president’s discomfort with abortion, which is fueled by his Catholicism and personal stance on the issue, was in the spotlight last year when Roe was overturned. But, he has taken steps unilaterally to protect access to the abortion pill and to increase access to contraception and family planning, among other moves.
The president also rarely uses the word abortion. At a similar fundraiser last week, he used the term “remedial operation” to defend the Department of Defense’s abortion policy that is the reason Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) has held up military promotions.
“Because the military said if you’re in the military and you’re having a troubled pregnancy and you’re in a state where you’re not allowed to see the doctor performing any remedial operation on you, then you can get paid – you can have leave to go to where you can do that,” Biden said on June 19 in San Francisco.
Since then, the president rallied reproductive rights advocates on Friday to mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe, saying the decision dared women in the United States to be heard.