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 endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate 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 GillibrandHochul tells Facebook to 'clean up the act' on abortion misinformation after Texas law Democratic senators request probe into Amazon's treatment of pregnant employees The FBI comes up empty-handed in its search for a Jan. 6 plot MORE (N.Y.), Cory BookerCory BookerDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Fighting poverty, the Biden way Top Senate Democrats urge Biden to take immediate action on home confinement program MORE (N.J.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFederal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (Mass.), former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeTexas Democrat to filibuster GOP elections bill Lawmakers must also serve as community organizers O'Rourke mum on run for Texas governor MORE (Texas), former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska) and former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperNY Democrat tests positive for COVID-19 in latest House breakthrough case Florida Democrat becomes latest breakthrough COVID-19 case in House Wicker says he's recovered from coronavirus 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 CollinsWelcome to ground zero of climate chaos A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate Bipartisan blip: Infrastructure deal is last of its kind without systemic change 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 ButtigiegLGBT film festival to premiere documentary about Pete Buttigieg Pete and Chasten Buttigieg welcome twins Coalition urges Democrats to restore billion in transit funding 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 HarrisStefanik in ad says Democrats want 'permanent election insurrection' Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris 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."