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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 BidenJoe BidenBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts 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.

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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 GillibrandOvernight Defense: Defense bill among Congress's year-end scramble | Iranian scientist's assassination adds hurdles to Biden's plan on nuclear deal | Navy scrapping USS Bonhomme Richard after fire Democratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Social media responds to Harris making history: 'I feel like our ancestors are rejoicing' MORE (N.Y.), Cory BookerCory BookerJudge whose son was killed by gunman: 'Federal judiciary is under attack' Biden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Policy center calls for new lawmakers to make diverse hires MORE (N.J.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSchwarzenegger says he would 'absolutely' help Biden administration Disney chair says he would consider job in Biden administration if asked Despite veto threat, Congress presses ahead on defense bill MORE (Mass.), former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeMexican president breaks with other world leaders, refusing to acknowledge Biden win until election is finalized Mexico emerging as foreign policy challenge for Biden Beyoncé sports pro-Biden mask on Instagram MORE (Texas), former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska) and former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperDemocrats frustrated, GOP jubilant in Senate fight Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Down ballot races carry environmental implications | US officially exits Paris climate accord  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 CollinsBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him GOP blocks effort to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks 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 ButtigiegJuan Williams: Clyburn is my choice as politician of the year 'Biff is president': Michael J. Fox says Trump has played on 'every worst instinct in mankind' Buttigieg: Denying Biden intelligence briefings is about protecting Trump's 'ego' 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 HarrisBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden says family will avoid business conflicts Biden says China must play by 'international norms' 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."