Washington: President Joe Biden will promise Tuesday that the first bill he sends to Capitol Hill next year will be one that codifies Roe v. Wade — if Democrats control enough seats in Congress for Biden to sign abortion protections into law. That’s a big if. It’s the first time Biden has prioritized abortion legislation in this way ahead of the November midterms. Republicans are widely projected to gain control of at least the House. Abortion rights have been a key motivating factor for Democrats this year, although the economy and inflation still rank as chief concern for most voters.Also Read – Watch: Biden Offers Dating Advice To Young Girl In Viral Video. Internet Is Divided
Biden plans to make the remarks at a Democratic National Committee event in Washington. A Democratic official says the president will also make a contrast between his party and Republicans who are calling for a federal abortion ban that would punish doctors for performing the procedure. In his remarks, Biden will say that if Democrats next year are able to send Biden a law legalizing abortion nationwide, the president would sign it around the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1973 ruling, which will be in late January. Also Read – Pakistan Is The Most Dangerous Country In The World: Joe Biden
The official previewed Biden’s remarks on condition of anonymity. For the White House, it won’t be enough just to keep control of both chambers of Congress, already an uphill battle, to be able to enshrine the protections of the landmark 1973 ruling into law. The Senate would need to abolish the filibuster, the legislative rule that requires 60 votes for most bills to advance in the chamber, in order to pass an abortion measure with a simple majority of senators. Also Read – Pakistan One Of The Most Dangerous Nations In World, Says US President Joe Biden
Long resistant to any revisions to Senate institutional rules, Biden said in the days after the June decision by the Supreme Court overruling Roe in Dobbs v. Jackson that he would support eliminating that supermajority threshold for abortion bills, just as he did on voting rights legislation.
But two moderate Democrats — Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, Ariz., and Joe Manchin, W.Va. — support keeping the filibuster. Sinema has said she wants to retain the filibuster precisely so any abortion restrictions backed by Republicans would face a much higher hurdle to pass in the Senate.
Democratic Senate candidates in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — the party’s two best chances to flip seats currently held by Republicans — have both said they support eliminating the filibuster in order to pass abortion legislation. Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman has actively campaigned on being the 51st vote for priorities such as legalizing abortion, codifying same-sex marriage protections, and making it easier for workers to unionize — all measures that would otherwise be blocked by a filibuster in the Senate.
Abortion — and proposals from some Republicans to impose nationwide restrictions on the procedure — have been a regular fixture of Biden’s political rhetoric this election cycle, as Democrats seek to energize voters in a difficult midterm season for the party in power in Washington.
In fundraisers and in political speeches, Biden has vowed to reject any abortion restrictions that may come to his desk in a GOP-controlled Congress. He has also urged voters to boost the Democratic ranks in the Senate so enough senators would not only support reinstating abortion nationwide, but would be willing to change Senate rules to do it.
“If you give me two more Democratic senators in the United States Senate, I promise you, I promise you we’re going to codify Roe,” Biden said at a Democratic National Committee rally in Washington last month. “We’ll once again make Roe the law of the land. And we’ll once again protect a woman’s right to choose.”
Court decisions and state legislation have shifted — and sometimes, re-shifted — the status of abortion laws across the country. Currently, bans are in place at all states of pregnancy in 12 states. In another, Wisconsin, clinics have stopped providing abortions though there’s dispute over whether a ban is in effect. In Georgia, abortion is banned at the detection of cardiac activity — generally around six weeks and before women often know they’re pregnant.
Meanwhile, codifying Roe remains a broadly popular position. In a July AP-NORC poll, 60% of U.S. adults said they believe Congress should pass a law guaranteeing access to legal abortion nationwide.
Even with the economy dominating so much of the midterm discourse, abortion has been a touchstone in high-profile contests from Ohio to Arizona, especially as Democrats try to trap Republicans between their most ardent anti-abortion base voters who want absolute or near-total bans and a majority of U.S. adults that wants at least some legal access to elective abortions.
For instance, in Georgia, Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker went so far in his only debate against Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, as to deny his previous support for a national abortion ban with no exceptions. Despite Walker’s previous statements captured on video, he insisted Warnock misrepresented his position. Walker said in the debate that he backs a Georgia statute outlawing abortion after six weeks of pregnancy – an effective ban for some women because it’s so early they don’t yet know they’re pregnant. The law includes exceptions for later abortions in cases of rape, incest and involving health risks to a woman.
Warnock, meanwhile, avoided direct questions about whether he’d support any abortion limits, instead turning the question to Walker’s position.