While commenting on an upcoming Supreme Court case about abortion rights during the Family Research Council’s Pray Vote Stand Summit, Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer spread extreme anti-abortion rhetoric and smeared President Joe Biden as a “purported Catholic” for his pro-choice views. Notably, Hammer asserted that “the best possible option” is to “just straight-up overturn Roe and Casey, gut all this garbage,” referring to two landmark Supreme Court cases that have upheld the right to access abortion care.
Hammer joined Newsweek as opinion editor in May 2020 and was formerly an editor at the bigoted right-wing media outlet The Daily Wire. He has previously called Biden a “leading jihadist” against conservatives on the Supreme Court and asserted that “the leading cause of death for ‘young black men’ is abortion — murder in the womb.” Newsweek has published numerous anti-abortion op-eds in recent weeks, and reporting from The New Republic has noted that in recent years, Newsweek has advanced and legitimized “narratives straight out of the right-wing fever swamps.”
Hammer asserted that the upcoming Supreme Court term is a chance “to take our stab at Roe and Casey”
On October 7, Hammer spoke on the panel titled “The End of Roe and Beyond: The Outlook for the Unborn in America” at Family Research Council’s Pray Vote Stand Summit. Family Research Council is an extreme anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ organization. A 2019 Rewire News article summarized the group’s anti-choice views:
FRC’s animus toward reproductive rights is clear. On its website, the group advocates for “equal protection under the law” for zygotes, embryos, and fetuses. In practice, this kind of “personhood” policy would outlaw and criminalize abortion and certain kinds of birth control. FRC also opposes over-the-counter contraception (including hormonal birth control and the morning-after pill); advocates allowing health-care providers to claim religious objections to providing essential care to patients; opposes fetal tissue research; claims (with no evidence) that “motherhood in the context of marriage promotes positive health outcomes for women”; and supports crisis pregnancy centers that lie to patients.
Hammer’s panel at the Family Research Council summit discussed possible outcomes of the upcoming Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. On December 1, the court will hear arguments on whether it is constitutional for a Mississippi law to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The decision has the potential to seriously weaken or even eliminate the constitutional right to safe and legal abortion as affirmed in the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. Reproductive rights advocates have said that the case is “an ominous sign and an alarming reminder that the threat to the legal right to abortion is imminent and real.”
During the panel, Hammer promoted extreme anti-abortion rhetoric, questioned President Joe Biden’s Catholic faith, and urged attendees to “get to the polls and vote to kick those bums out of office,” referring to politicians who support abortion.
While outlining possible outcomes in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, Hammer asserted, “The best possible option ... is just straight-up overturn Roe and Casey, gut all this garbage, and return this issue to the states where it belongs.” Casey refers to the 1992 Supreme Court ruling that held states may not impose restrictions that constitute an “undue burden” on a person seeking an abortion.
He repeated his claim later in the panel, calling the case “another shot this term to take our stab at Roe and Casey.” Hammer also described the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe that legalized abortion in America as “contrary to every sound principle of constitutional interpretation and basic moral reasoning under the sun,” adding, “From my perspective, it is the worst constitutional decision since the Dred Scott decision of 1857” which upheld slavery.
At the end of the panel, Hammer called Biden a “purported Catholic” and urged attendees to “get to the polls and vote to kick those bums out of office.”