US President Joe Biden addressed the nation on Friday after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, calling it a “solemn day” and a “sad day” for the country and the court.

Biden said the Supreme Court took an unprecedented step to strip a “constitutional right” from Americans.

“[The Supreme Court] expressly took away a Constitutional right from the American people that ways already recognised. They didn’t limit it, they simply took it away,” he said. “That’s never been done.”

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Biden spoke from the White House on the ruling that is expected to lead to nearly half of US states outlawing or severely restricting the medical procedure, taking away the freedom from women to decide what they want.

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The president said that the decision was the culmination of decades of conservative work to undermine Americans’ rights.

“Make no mistake, this is the culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law,” Biden said, adding that the court rolled the nation back by 180 years.

“I believe Roe v. Wade was the correct decision as a matter of constitutional law and application of the fundamental right to privacy and liberty and matters of family and personal autonomy,” Biden said. 

Also Read: US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade: How lawmakers reacted

Biden, a life-long Roman Catholic and the second president of the faith to hold the office since Democrat John F. Kennedy, said that the American public must elect lawmakers into power who will codify Roe v. Wade into law.

“The fights not over,” he said. “We need to elect lawmakers to enact Roe as the law of the land.”

Also Read: Roe v Wade overturned: How the US Supreme Court voted

He also called on those who plan to protest the decision to remain “peaceful, peaceful, peaceful.”

He said that “intimidation and violence are not speech.”