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Biden calls on Congress to ease Senate rules to codify Roe v. Wade

A person holds a sign reading “Codify Roe v. Wade” as abortion rights activists protest after the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade by the US Supreme Court, in Downtown Los Angeles, on June 24, 2022.

Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Thursday said he would support a suspending the Senate filibuster rule to codify the constitutional right to an abortion as established by the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 ruling to Roe v. Wade.

His comments represent critical support for suspending a key procedural hurdle that has thus far prevented Senate Democrats from passing legislation that would make the Roe decision federal law.

Current Senate rules require the majority party to muster 60 votes to overcome the minority’s attempt to block the advance of a bill, an procedural action known as a filibuster.

And with the Senate split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, the GOP has thus far had the power to stop the slim Democratic majority from approving abortion bills.

“I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade into law. And the way to do that is to make sure Congress votes to do that,” Biden told reporters in Spain. “And if the filibuster gets in the way — like voting rights — we provide an exception for this. We require an exception of the filibuster for this action.”

Biden’s comments come a week after the nation’s highest court overturned 50 years of legal precedent and reversed its original opinion that women have a constitutional right to an abortion.

The court’s controversial ruling now grants states the power decide their own abortion laws without concern of running afoul of the Roe opinion, which had allowed abortions during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.

Biden, like many Democrats, believes that court’s reversal “is a serious, serious problem the Supreme Court has thrust upon the United States.”

“I’m going to do everything in my power I legally can do in terms of protecting abortion, as well as pushing Congress and the public,” he said.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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