Biden says Roe v. Wade under attack like ‘never before’
President Biden and Vice President Harris released a statement Saturday commemorating the 49th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which gave women the constitutional right to abortion.
The Biden-Harris administration said that the decision is under attack like “never before” amid several states’ attempts to pass restrictions on the practice.
“The constitutional right established in Roe v. Wade nearly 50 years ago today is under assault as never before. It is a right we believe should be codified into law, and we pledge to defend it with every tool we possess,” Biden and Harris said in a statement.
“All people deserve access to reproductive health care regardless of their gender, income, race, zip code, health insurance status, immigration status, disability, or sexual orientation. And the continued defense of this constitutional right is essential to our health, safety, and progress as a nation,” they added.
The statement comes a day after thousands of anti-abortion activists rallied in Washington, D.C., against abortion, pushing for Roe v. Wade to be overturned.
“We are hoping and praying that this year, 2022, will bring a historic change for life,” Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said at the event, The Associated Press reported.
A large portion of the crowd during the March for Life rally on Friday was made up of young people, with some holding signs saying they were the “pro-life generation.”
The battle over abortion is expected to take center stage in Washington this year as the Supreme Court is poised to hear a case on a Mississippi law that would ban abortion at 15 weeks. The law is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.
Anti-abortion activists are hopeful, as conservatives hold a 6-3 majority on the high court following former President Trump’s appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett before leaving office. Barrett succeed the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“If Roe falls, the battle lines will change, but make no mistake the fight for life will need to continue in the states and here in D.C.,” Mancini said, according to the AP.
The statement from the president and his No. 2 also comes after the Supreme Court rebuffed an effort by abortion providers in their challenge to Texas’s abortion law, S.B. 8. The law, which is one of the strictest in the country, bans abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy, often before a person knows that they’re pregnant.
There is a procedural fight over which of the lower courts will take up the case after the Supreme Court ruled last month that abortion providers could contest the ban in federal court. The providers have asked the Supreme Court to send the case back to a federal district that has previously blocked the law. However, justices sent the case back to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has allowed S.B. 8 to remain in effect.
A recent poll conducted by CNN found that a large majority of Americans — almost 70 percent — said that they oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. Thirty percent of respondents said that they supported the move.