President Biden Calls on Congress to End Filibuster and Codify Roe v. Wade Into Law

President Joe Biden believes the right to abortion should be codified into law — and it looks like he might actually pressure congress into doing something about it.

via People:

During a news conference in Madrid on Thursday, Biden was asked by an audience member what executive action he would use to guarantee abortion rights following the Supreme Court’s decision last week to overturn Roe v. Wade, CNN reports.

“I’d be happy to go into detail with you on that,” he began, “I’m having a meeting with a group of governors when I get home on Friday and I’ll have announcements to make then.”

“The most important thing to be clear about is I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law,” he said firmly. “The way to do that is to make sure the Congress votes to do that, and if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights – it should be (that) we provide an exception to this … requiring an exception to the filibuster for this action to deal with the Supreme Court decision.”

Filibuster rules are the longstanding Senate practice of requiring a 60-vote minimum to pass legislation. Currently, the Senate does not have the 60 votes needed to codify Roe v. Wade, The New York Times reports.

Also in his answer, Biden called the overturn an “outrageous” decision that “impacts not just on a woman’s right to choose, which is a critical piece, but on privacy generally.”

In the afternoon of the Supreme Court decision on June 24, Biden spoke in the White House against the overturn.

“Today the Supreme Court of the United States expressly took away the constitutional right for the American people they had already recognized. They didn’t limit it, they simply took it away. That’s never been done to a right so important to so many Americans,” Biden said. “Now with Roe gone, let’s be very clear: the health and life of women in this nation, are now at risk.”

“With this decision, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court show how extreme it is; how far removed they are from the majority of this country, that they’ve made the United States an outlier among developed nations of the world,” he added.

Biden also discussed the plan for his administration to use “all of its appropriate lawful powers to fight back” but imploring Congress to take action.

“Congress must act,” Biden said. “Let me be very clear and not ambiguous: the only way we can secure a woman’s right to choose is for Congress to restore the protection of Roe v. Wade as federal law. No executive action from the president can do that. And if Congress, as it appears, lacks the vote to do that now, voters need to make their voices heard.”

He also promised that the administration will do everything in its power to protect women’s access to medications, contraception, and the right of women living in states that restrict abortion to travel to states that allow it.

“My administration will defend that bedrock right,” Biden said. “If any state or local official high or low tries to interfere with a woman’s exercising her basic right to travel, I will do everything in my power to fight that deeply un-American attack.”

Calling the Supreme Court’s ruling “a sad day for the court and the country,” Biden stressed that he believed “Roe v. Wade was the correct decision.”

He went on to outline the importance of a balance of power, tracing back the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade to former President Donald Trump.

“It was the three justices named by one president — Donald Trump, where the core of today’s decision to upend the scales of justice and eliminate a fundamental right for women in this country,” Biden said. “Make no mistake: this decision is a culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law. It’s a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court in my view.”

He ended his speech in part by reminding Americans to remain peaceful as they respond to this. “I call on everyone, no matter how deeply they care about this decision, to keep all protests peaceful,” he said. “No intimidation. Violence is never acceptable. Threats and intimidation are not speech. We must stand against violence in any form, regardless of your rationale.”

Roe v. Wade is a landmark Supreme Court decision of 1973 that granted women the right to an abortion in every state.

The Supreme Court’s 6-to-3 ruling reverses nearly 50 years of precedent and will completely change the landscape of women’s reproductive rights by giving individual states the power to decide whether to allow the procedure. It is estimated that nearly half the country will enact near-total bans in the coming months.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.”

The decision will divide the country, with most blue states allowing abortion and most red states severely limiting it. The 78-page opinion was backed by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, three of whom were appointed by President Trump.

Biden has been under pressure from Democrats to do something unilaterally for abortion rights. Both he and Vice President Kamala Harris have been vocal about their support of a woman’s right to choose. “We must recommit to strengthening access to reproductive care, defending the right established by Roe, and protecting the freedom of all people to build their own future,” Biden said in January, on the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

“Roe v. Wade advanced women’s equality,” Harris added at the time, in part. “The constitutional right of women to make decisions about their own bodies is not an abstract concept. It saves women’s lives.”

This should have happened a LONG time ago.

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