Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights

Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights
© Greg Nash

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Biden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Yang: Standing next to Biden on debate stage would help boost name recognition MORE believes Congress must move to enshrine abortion rights into federal law following several controversial bills passed by state legislatures around the country, his presidential campaign team confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday.

"Vice President Biden firmly believes that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and should not be overturned," a campaign spokesperson said in a statement. "Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri are passing extreme laws in order to prevent a woman to be able to have an abortion under virtually any circumstance. Roe v. Wade lays out a constitutional guarantee that a woman can, in fact, make a choice between she and her doctor. Biden believes that codifying Roe through legislation must be pursued." 

The Associated Press first reported the news.

The campaign team's statement comes amid growing calls for members of Congress to take action on the issue following the passage of a bill in Alabama last week that effectively bars women from having abortions.

Other Democratic presidential candidates in recent days have expressed support for laws to codify Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that cemented the right to have an abortion. They include Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandBiden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Biden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Trump steadfast in denials as support for impeachment grows MORE (N.Y.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerFox News poll shows Trump trailing Biden, Sanders, other Democrats Fox News poll shows Trump trailing Biden, Sanders, other Democrats Poll: Biden leads, Warren surges in South Carolina MORE (N.J.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Biden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Trump steadfast in denials as support for impeachment grows MORE (Mass.), former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeDemocrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Campaign dads fit fatherhood between presidential speeches MORE (Texas), former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska) and former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn Wright HickenlooperDemocrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Campaign dads fit fatherhood between presidential speeches MORE.

The renewed urgency to move on abortion rights comes after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed into law last week the nation's most restrictive abortion ban. Ivey herself said the law is likely "unenforceable."  

Even many Republicans have distanced themselves from the law, with Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDemocrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates MORE (R-Maine), who supports abortion rights, calling it "very extreme" and "terrible."

Other states mentioned by Biden's campaign, such as Georgia, have passed similarly strict laws on abortion. The laws come amid a broader movement by anti-abortion activists to get the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade by revisiting a component of the ruling saying states can't place certain restrictions on women to undergo the procedure. 

Other Democratic candidates have not been as aggressive on the issue as their opponents. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegButtigieg wouldn't reverse US embassy move to Jerusalem: 'What's done is done' Buttigieg wouldn't reverse US embassy move to Jerusalem: 'What's done is done' Buttigieg: Iran situation 'disturbingly reminiscent' of lead-up to Iraq War MORE said this week the idea to codify Roe v. Wade should be "taken seriously" but did not explicitly say whether he would back it.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Biden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Confused by polls? Watch early primary states — not national numbers MORE (Calif.) also has not weighed in on the issue in great detail, though she has said that "reproductive rights are not just protected by the Constitution of the United States but guaranteed in every state."