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Biden says he’ll sign abortion rights into law if Democrats control Congress after midterms


US President Joe Biden promised Tuesday that the first bill he’ll send to Capitol Hill next year will be a bill that codifies Roe v. Wade – if Democrats control enough seats in Congress for Biden to sign. abortion law – in a speech designed to invigorate his party’s voters just three weeks before the November midterms.

“If you care about the right to choose, then you have to vote,” Biden said during a speech at the Howard Theater in Washington. He urged attendees to recall how they felt when the Supreme Court in late June overturned a landmark 1973 ruling legalizing abortion, and repeatedly criticized Republicans. peacekeepers across the country who have pushed for these procedural restrictions, often without exception.

Biden said “the only sure way to stop these radical laws that are endangering the health and rights of women is for Congress to pass a bill.” He acknowledged that right now, “we’re missing some votes” to restore abortion protections at the federal level, urging voters to send more Democrats to Congress.

“If we do that, here’s the promise I make to you and the American people: The first bill that I’ll send to Congress will be to codify Roe and Wade,” Biden said. “And when Congress passes it, I’ll sign it in January, 50 years after Roe first decided on the law of the land.”

It’s a big if.

Individuals standing listening to a speech, holding signs that read 'Choice to protect.'
People hold placards on stage as President Joe Biden speaks about abortion rights during a Democratic National Committee event at the Howard Theater on Tuesday in Washington. (Evan Vucci / The Associated Press)

Democrats have repeatedly tried to put abortion rights into law

Democrats have tried several times in this Congress to get abortion rights into law, only to be stymied by Republican movies and their own members’ unwillingness to change. rules of the Senate. That momentum is likely to persist no matter what happens in the November election.

Abortion rights have been a key driver for Democrats this year, although the economy and inflation remain key concerns for most voters.

For the White House, it won’t be enough to retain control of both houses of Congress, already an uphill battle, to get Roe protections into law. The Senate would need to repeal the legislative rule, a legislative rule that requires 60 votes for most bills to pass in the chamber, to pass the abortion measure with a majority of senators.

Long resisted any amendment to the Senate’s institutional rules, Biden said in the days following the Supreme Court’s decision to appoint a role in Dobbs v. Jackson that he would advocates removing that supermajority threshold on abortion bills, just as he did on suffrage legislation. .

But two moderate Democrats – senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin – support keeping the information intact. Sinema said she wanted to keep the film accurate so that any Republican-backed abortion restrictions would face a much higher barrier to passage in the Senate.

Majority of American adults support access to abortion

Democratic Senate candidates in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – the party’s two best chances to topple seats currently held by Republicans – have both said they support removing the violation to pass abortion legislation. . Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman has been actively campaigning to become the 51st voter on priorities like legalizing abortion, legislating same-sex marriage protections, and helping union workers. easier ending – all measures that would otherwise be blocked by a petty man in the Senate.

Abortion – and proposals from some Republicans to impose nationwide restrictions on the procedure – have been a regular part of Biden’s political rhetoric this election cycle. , as Democrats seek to energize voters during a difficult midterm season for the ruling party in Washington.

During fundraisers and in political speeches, Biden has vowed to repudiate any abortion restrictions that might come to his desk in a Republican-controlled Congress. He also urged voters to advance the Democratic ranks in the Senate so that enough senators would not only support restoring abortion nationally, but be willing to change Senate rules to do it. there.

“If you give me two more Democratic senators in the US Senate, I promise you, I promise you, we will systematize Roe,” Biden said at a National Committee rally. Democracy in Washington last month. “We will once again make Roe the law of the land. And we will once again defend women’s right to choose.”

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

“Doubling the radical agenda of on-demand abortion until birth will not stop Democrats from losing Congress, even if the abortion industry already spent record amounts of money,” Dannenfelser said. to elect them,” said Dannenfelser. “Biden’s party has gone in the wrong direction and lost touch in a great way.

Court decisions and state laws have changed — and sometimes, reversed — the state of abortion laws across the country. Currently, the ban is in place in all pregnant states in 12 states. Elsewhere, Wisconsin, clinics have stopped offering abortions, though there is controversy over whether the ban will go into effect. In Georgia, abortions are banned when heart activity is detected – usually around six weeks and before a woman usually knows she’s pregnant.

Meanwhile, systematizing Roe remains a widely held position. In a July AP-NORC poll, 60% of US adults said they believe Congress should pass legislation ensuring legal access to abortion nationwide.

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