Two days after Joe Biden became U.S. President, the White House announced that the Biden Administration would codify Roe v Wade, which would maintain the legality of abortion even in the event that the Supreme Court overturns the 1973 ruling.
Roe v Wade was the 1973 Supreme Court 7-2 ruling that “discovered” that the U.S. constitution, drafted over 230 years ago when abortion was a grave crime, gives a pregnant woman the right to have an abortion. It struck down many U.S. federal and state abortion laws.
One observer noted that the Democrats, who in the 19th century supported slavery in the United States, is now the party which supports killing unborn babies.
The White House press statement, jointly issued by President Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris, said: “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to codifying Roe v Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe.” This means a new Act of Congress, not just a court ruling that could be reversed by a later court decision.
It added: “In the past four years, reproductive health, including the right to choose, has been under relentless and extreme attack.
“We are deeply committed to making sure everyone has access to care – including reproductive health care – regardless of income, race, zip code, health insurance status, or immigration status.”
“Reproductive health care” is a euphemism for abortion.
They also promised to support the pro-abortion cause internationally, saying: “This commitment extends to our critical work on health outcomes [that is, abortion] around the world.”
The Trump administration over the last four years had enacted policies and laws that are pro-life. Additionally, Donald Trump defunded Planned Parenthood and late-term abortions. Trump also nominated three pro-life judges to the Supreme Court.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California) said women should have “the right to make their own health decisions”.
“This core tenet in the canon of women’s rights remains under attack, demanding our constant vigilance and resolve to preserve reproductive rights in America,” she wrote in a Twitter post.
The Democrat Whip in the House of Representatives also voiced his support.
James E. Clyburn (Democrat, South Carolina) wrote: “Today marks the 48th anniversary of Roe v Wade, which gave women the right to control their own bodies. Women’s right to choose is under assault across this country. We must continue the fight to protect that fundamental right.”
Republicans in general said they would oppose the proposed law.
Senator Rand Paul (Republican, Kentucky) said: “Today marks the grim 48th anniversary of Roe v Wade. Since this ruling in 1973, over 62 million innocent lives have been lost due to abortion. Every single life matters, including the unborn. We must protect the sanctity of life and prevent taxpayer dollars from funding abortions.”
A member of the House of Representatives, Debbie Lesko (Republican, Arizona) echoed Paul’s criticism.
“Today is the tragic anniversary of Roe v. Wade,” Lesko wrote. “I am proud to be a pro-life woman in Congress and fight for the right to life for every unborn baby. Every life is a gift from God, and I will continue to defend the sanctity of life at every stage.”
This is not the first time Democrats have tried to codify Roe v Wade. In May 2019 Democrats introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act in Congress. This bill “guarantees a pregnant person’s right to access an abortion – and the right of an abortion provider to deliver these abortion services – free from medically unnecessary restrictions that interfere with a patient’s individual choice or the provider-patient relationship”.
Progressive Democrat senators including Bernie Sanders (Vermont), Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts), Cory Booker (New Jersey), and now Vice-President Kamala Harris (California) co-sponsored the bill.
The legislation was not passed by Congress, as the Democrats lacked a majority in the Senate at the time.
Harris went further, and outlined a plan that would require states and local governments that have a history of restricting abortions to obtain federal approval before new anti-abortion measures could take effect.
In 2008, then President Barack Obama promised Planned Parenthood that he would sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which did not happen because Democrats lost their majority in Congress. Now the Democrats are proposing what is, in effect, the same Women’s Health Protection Act.
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