Biden addresses nation following Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision

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WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden addressed the nation on Friday after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a decision that eliminates a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion after nearly 50 years.

Biden spoke from the White House on the ruling that is expected to lead to nearly half of U.S. states outlawing or severely restricting the medical procedure.

In a 5-4 ruling, the nation’s highest court tossed out Roe v. Wade, the landmark law that established the constitutional right to abortion in the United States in 1973.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about U.S. vaccination progress following a visit to a District of Columbia Department of Health (DC Health) coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination clinic, during remarks in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 21, 2022. 

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

Biden, a life-long Roman Catholic and the second president of the faith to hold the office since Democrat John F. Kennedy, criticized the Roe decision as a young senator. Nearly a half-century later and despite tensions with Catholic doctrine, Biden has become a champion of abortion rights.

Throughout his presidency, some U.S. bishops have publicly called for Biden to be denied the Catholic rite of communion during Mass for his political position on abortion.

The case that triggered Roe’s demise after nearly a half-century, known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is related to a Mississippi law that banned nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Dobbs was by far the most significant and controversial dispute of the court’s term. It also posed the most serious threat to abortion rights since Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the Supreme Court reaffirmed Roe.

The court ruled 6-3 to uphold the Mississippi law.

An early and unprecedented leak of a draft of the majority opinion in May sent shockwaves across the country and galvanized activists on both sides of the debate. It also cast a pall over the nation’s highest court, which immediately opened an investigation to find the source of the leak.

CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger and Dan Mangan contributed to this report from New York.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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