Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden pledged Monday to make Roe v. Wade “the law of the land” through legislation if the Supreme Court overturns the 1973 decision, a move that could ensure abortion remains legal even if the high court gets involved.
Speaking at an NBC News town hall, Biden was asked about his “plans to protect women’s reproductive rights in the U.S.” in light of the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court.
“We don’t know exactly what she will do, although the expectation is that she may very well move to …. overrule Roe,” Biden answered. “… The only responsible response to that would be to pass legislation making Roe the law of the land. That’s what I would do.”
Biden had previously said he would move to “codify Roe” in such an instance, although Monday’s answer occurred in a more high-profile setting, less than one month before the election.
A tweet from his campaign read, “Roe v. Wade must remain the law of the land.”
His website includes a lengthy section on abortion where he pledges to:
- Block pro-life state laws that violate Roe. “Biden will work to codify Roe v. Wade, and his Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate Roe v. Wade,” the website says.
- Restore funding for Planned Parenthood that was pulled by the Trump administration. “As President, Biden will reissue guidance specifying that states cannot refuse Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other providers and reverse the Trump Administration’s rule preventing these organizations from obtaining Title X funds.”
- Rescind the Mexico City Policy, which prevents federal money from going to international family planning organizations that perform or promote abortion.
- Restore the Obamacare abortion/contraceptive mandate, which forced religious organizations and employers to cover abortifacient drugs and contraceptives in their insurance plans.
President Trump on Tuesday criticized Biden’s answer on Roe.
“Wow. Joe Biden just took a more Liberal position on Roe v. Wade than Elizabeth Warren at her highest,” Trump tweeted. “He also wants to PACK our great United States Supreme Court. This is what the Dems will do. Remember as they try changing positions before elections end. GET OUT AND VOTE!
“Biden and Democrats just clarified the fact that they are fully in favor of (very) LATE TERM ABORTION, right up until the time of birth, and beyond – which would be execution,” Trump wrote in a second tweet. “Biden even endorsed the Governor of Virginia, who stated this clearly for all to hear. GET OUT & VOTE!!!”
Photo courtesy: (C)Getty Images/Mark Makela/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.