Biden wants to enshrine Roe v. Wade in face of Supreme Court
The United States is once again going into a battle about abortion laws, with Biden pushing for the enshrining of Roe v. Wade amid a push in the Supreme Court to ban abortion nationwide.
US President Joe Biden urged Tuesday voters to defend access to abortion across the United States. He described as "radical" a draft ruling issued by the Supreme Court showing a majority opinion ending access to abortion nationwide.
The implications of the draft ruling, he warned, could lead to widespread changes in American law as "every other decision relating to the notion of privacy is thrown into question."
If the ruling is finalized, abortion laws will depend on individual states, and "it will fall on voters to elect" officials who back the right to the procedure, Biden said after a leak that unveiled the ruling.
Politico obtained the draft, which was authored by Justice Samuel Alito and shared throughout the conservative-dominated court, according to the news source.
Biden went on to call Congress to protect legal abortion in US law, urging them to enshrine Roe v. Wade, which would be the only way of overcoming any Supreme Court ruling that the document shows is set to be issued.
According to the US media outlet, the initial draft was distributed to the judiciary on February 10, and it is unknown whether any amendments were proposed.
Biden said he would "work to pass and sign into law" such legislation, though he did acknowledge that the stage for such a decision was not set due to the Senate being split between Democrats and Republicans.
The Supreme Court confirmed the leaked draft ruling was authentic but not the final decision on the matter.
"If this decision holds, it's really quite a radical decision," Biden told reporters in Washington. "It's a fundamental shift in American jurisprudence."
"It concerns me a great deal that we're going to, after 50 years, decide a woman does not have a right to choose," he stressed.
He also underlined that this would mean that every other decision relating to the notion of privacy is "thrown into question."
Many US states have already enacted or started preparing highly restrictive abortion laws, prompting Biden to ask his advisors to study "a variety of possible outcomes in the cases pending before the Supreme Court. We will be ready when any ruling is issued."
At the federal level, Biden underlined, "we will need more pro-choice senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation" codifying the existing guarantees likely to be removed by the country's highest court.
"I believe that a woman's right to choose is fundamental," Biden said, referring to the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, that declared abortion a constitutionally protected right.
The draft statement labels the historic decision, which established the right to abortion, "egregiously wrong from the start."
In the draft document, Alito writes that it must be overruled, stating that "the Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely – the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."
He highlighted how Roe has been in effect in the US for nearly half a century, stressing that "basic fairness" and the "stability of the law in the US" demand that it not be overturned.
Right-wing lawmakers have been increasingly anti-abortion, while Democrats, headed by President Joe Biden, have long defended abortion access.
Hearing oral arguments in December regarding a Mississippi law that would prohibit most abortions after 15 weeks, the Supreme Court's conservative majority looked likely not only to uphold the statute but also to overturn Roe v. Wade.