Joe Biden vows abortion legislation as top priority next year

US President Joe Biden has promised to codify Roe v Wade immediately if Democrats control enough seats in Congress to pass the law after November’s midterm elections.

Finally, Mr. Biden urged people to remember how they felt in late June when the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion, new evidence of the White House’s efforts to ensure that the issue will stick in the minds of Democratic voters this year.

“I want to remind all of us how we felt when 50 years of constitutional precedent was overturned, the anger, the concern, the disbelief,” Trump said Tuesday.

He has repeatedly berated Republicans across the country, who have often invariably pushed for restrictions on the process, and told the Democrats in attendance that “if you care about the right to vote, then you must vote.”

The first bill I will submit to Congress is the Roe v Wade codificationJoe Biden

As he has done all year, Mr. Biden emphasized that only Congress can fully restore access to abortion, as he was before the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson that overthrew Roe.

But he also acknowledged that “we are now a handful of votes short” to reinstate abortion protections at the federal level, and urged voters to send more Democrats into Congress.

“If we do that, here’s the promise I make to you and the American people: The first bill I will put before Congress will be the Roe v Wade codification,” Biden said.

“And if Congress passes it, I will sign it in January, 50 years after Roe was first made law in the country.”

For Mr. Biden to deliver on his promise, Democrats would need to retain control of the House of Representatives and take seats in the Senate — an unlikely scenario given the current political dynamics.

Abortion rights have been a major motivating factor for Democrats this year, although the economy and inflation are still the top concerns for most voters.

Abolishing the filibuster — the legislative rule that requires 60 votes for most bills to advance in the Senate — amid opposition within their own ranks will also pose a major challenge for Democrats.

Mr. Biden, who has long resisted changing Senate institutional rules, said in the days after June’s decision to overrule Roe that he would support removing the majority threshold for abortion legislation, just as he did for voting rights legislation had done.

But two moderate Democrats — Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin — support keeping the filibuster. Ms. Sinema has said she wants to keep the filibuster just as any Republican-backed abortion restrictions would face a much higher hurdle to passage in the Senate.

Abortion — and suggestions by some Republicans to impose statewide restrictions on the process — have been a staple of Mr. Biden’s political rhetoric this election cycle as Democrats seek to motivate voters in a difficult mid-season for the party in power in Washington.

At fundraisers and political speeches, Mr. Biden has vowed to oppose any abortion restrictions that might come to his desk in a GOP-controlled Congress.

As he did on Tuesday, Mr. Biden also urged voters to strengthen the Democratic ranks in the Senate so that enough senators would not only support reinstating abortion nationwide, but also change Senate rules to do so.

Opponents of abortion rights have also sought to capitalize on the issue, with Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, saying the stakes “couldn’t be higher” in next month’s midterm elections.

“Duting down on an extreme agenda of on-demand abortion until childbirth won’t stop Democrats from losing Congress, even if the abortion industry spends record-breaking sums to elect her,” Ms. Dannenfelser said. “Biden’s party is on the wrong side and amazingly out of touch.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Biden made a pointed appeal to young voters, who traditionally participate in midterm elections at lower rates than other age demographics.

Though his remarks focused primarily on abortion, Mr. Biden also mentioned his decisions to forgive billions of dollars in student loan debt and issue pardons for marijuana possession — moves popular with younger voters.

“What I’m saying is that you represent the best of us. Your generation will not be ignored, will not be shunned, and will not remain silent,” said Mr
Biden said, adding, “In 2020, you voted to create the change you wanted to see in the world. In 2022, you must exercise your power to once again vote for the future of our nation and the future of your generation.” Joe Biden vows abortion legislation as top priority next year

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