Biden Says He’d Support Eliminating Filibuster to Codify Roe and Right to Privacy

On Thursday, President Biden urged the Senate to break its filibuster rules to allow legislation to be passed that would restore the privacy rights and protections for abortion access that were established in Roe v. Wade but were rejected by the Supreme Court last week.

During a news conference after the NATO meeting in Madrid, the president expressed his support for a temporary change in Senate rules, which he normally opposes. The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the constitutional right to an abortion was described as “outrageous” and “destabilizing” by the president.

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Biden’s Statements to Codify Roe and Right to Privacy

“The most important thing to be clear about is, we have to change — I believe we codify Roe v. Wade in the law, and the way to do that is to make sure Congress votes to do that,” Mr. Biden told reporters Thursday. “And if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, it should be — we provide an exception for this. We require an exception to the filibuster for this action.”

There don’t seem to be enough votes in the Senate right now to make an exception to the rule. Kamala Harris, the vice president, repeated the president’s remarks on Thursday.

“We have to codify Roe v. Wade into law. If the filibuster gets in the way, the Senate needs to make an exception to get this done,” she tweeted.

Biden Codify Roe Right to Privacy
Biden Codify Roe Right to Privacy

Even while the president believes the Supreme Court’s ruling is the only blemish on the country’s standing, he argued that the United States is better prepared to lead the globe than it has ever been.

“America is better positioned to lead the world than we ever have been,” Mr. Biden said. “We have the strongest economy in the world, our inflation rates are lower than other nations in the world. The one thing that has been destabilizing is the outrageous behavior of the Supreme Court of the United States on overruling not only Roe v. Wade but essentially challenging the right to privacy.”

There are “a wide range of issues relating to privacy,” the president added, including the ability to choose who to marry, and he called it a “severe challenge that the court has put upon the United States.”

Friday, upon his return to the White House, the President has indicated he will meet with a bipartisan group of governors to discuss the next steps in expanding access to abortion. The president dispelled any doubts, based on his own past reservations about abortion, that he is not the greatest person to represent the Democratic Party on this issue.

“I’m the only president they got,” he said. “And I feel extremely strongly that I’m going to do everything in my power which I legally can do in terms of executive orders, as well as push the Congress and the public. The bottom line here is — if you care, if the polling data is correct, and you think this decision by the court was an outrage or a significant mistake — vote. Show up and vote. Vote in the off-year and vote, vote, vote. That’s how we’ll change it.”

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