President Joe Biden said Friday that the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade puts American women in danger, calling it a "sad day" for the judicial body and the country.
"Now with Roe gone, let's be very clear. The health and life of women in this nation are now at risk," Biden said in a Friday afternoon speech.
Biden said the landmark 1973 abortion rights case had not only protected a woman's right to make personal decisions in consultation with her doctor, it reaffirmed women's equality and reinforced privacy rights.
The decision: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, eliminating constitutional right to abortion
A former Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Biden said he had studied the case carefully and believes it was decided correctly by the Supreme Court nearly 50 years ago.
Biden said that three justices appointed by his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, were responsible for the decision that leaves it to the states to determine their own abortion laws.
"Make no mistake: this decision is a culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law," Biden said. "It's a realization of an extreme ideology, and a tragic error by the Supreme Court, in my view."
Reactions: Biden calls SCOTUS abortion ruling 'a very solemn moment'; what he and others are saying
The president spoke in visceral terms about the consequences of the court's ruling on abortion rights across the country. He said state laws that restrict abortion that will go into effect could jeopardize the health of millions of women and force women who want abortions, but are no longer able to receive them, to bear their rapists' children.
"Imagine having, a young woman having … to carry the child of incest, as a consequence of incest, with no option," Biden said. "Too often the case, that poor women are going to be hit the hardest. It's cruel."
Biden said that the onus is now on Congress restore federal abortion rights protections.
"And if Congress, as it appears, lacks the votes to do that now, voters need to make their voices heard," he said, referencing the midterm elections.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden: Supreme Court ruling on Roe, abortion rights puts women at risk