Cyprus Mail

Biden pledges to work to protect ‘fundamental’ right to abortion

file photo: u.s. president joe biden speaks about covid 19 vaccines at the white house in washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden

President Biden on Tuesday called a woman’s right to obtain an abortion “fundamental” and urged voters to elect candidates who support that right in order to pave the way for Congress to pass legislation protecting access to the procedure nationwide.

The Democratic president made his remarks after a leaked draft Supreme Court decision surfaced showing that its conservative majority is prepared in a Mississippi case due to be decided by the end of June to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationally. The court confirmed the authenticity of the leaked document.

Biden made clear his administration is ready to protect abortion rights when a ruling is issued.

“I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental,” Biden said in a statement.

Biden said his administration had argued strongly in front of the court in favor of preserving Roe v. Wade, adding that “basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned.”

The president said that as more restrictive Republican-backed abortion laws have been enacted in various states and a Supreme Court ruling looming, he has directed White House officials to prepare options for an administration response to various outcomes.

“We will be ready when any ruling is issued,” Biden said.

Abortion rights are a key motivating issue for Democrats, just as opposition to abortion drives conservative voters to the polls.

The Supreme Court ruling in the abortion case from Mississippi could energize voters on both sides of the issue to turn out in November’s midterm elections, when control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate is at stake. Democrats currently control both chambers by slim margins.

“If the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose. And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November,” Biden said. “At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law.”

The draft opinion was posted by Politico late on Monday.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” conservative Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the draft opinion dated Feb. 10.

Based on Alito’s opinion, the court would find that the Roe v. Wade decision that allowed abortions performed before a fetus would be viable outside the womb – between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy – was wrongly decided because the U.S. Constitution makes no specific mention of abortion rights.

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