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Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights

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

Former Vice President Joe Biden 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 BidenJoe BidenTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot FireEye finds evidence Chinese hackers exploited Microsoft email app flaw since January Biden officials to travel to border amid influx of young migrants MORE 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.

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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 GillibrandABC names new deputy political director, weekend White House correspondent The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers face Capitol threat as senators line up votes for relief bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate Dems face unity test; Tanden nomination falls MORE (N.Y.), Cory BookerCory BookerABC names new deputy political director, weekend White House correspondent NJ lawmakers ask Gannett to stop 'union-busting' efforts at 3 state newspapers Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case MORE (N.J.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPhilly city council calls on Biden to 'cancel all student loan debt' in first 100 days Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case Senators question Bezos, Amazon about cameras placed in delivery vans MORE (Mass.), former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeTexas Republican criticizes Cruz for Cancun trip: 'When a crisis hits my state, I'm there' Progressives target 'Cancun Cruz' in ad to run on 147 Texas radio stations 'Get off TV': Critics blast Abbott over handling of Texas power outages following winter storm MORE (Texas), former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska) and former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Third approved vaccine distributed to Americans Democrats hesitant to raise taxes amid pandemic The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump's second impeachment trial begins 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 CollinsMurkowski votes with Senate panel to advance Haaland nomination OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior reverses Trump policy that it says restricted science | Collins to back Haaland's Interior nomination | Republicans press Biden environment nominee on Obama-era policy Republicans, please save your party 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 ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Increased security on Capitol Hill amid QAnon's March 4 date Biden to meet with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers face Capitol threat as senators line up votes for relief bill 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 Harris Harris speaks with Netanyahu amid ICC probe Senate votes to take up COVID-19 relief bill Why is Joe Biden dodging the public and the press? 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."