Biden’s Bravado Over Roe v. Wade Is Bark and No Bite

President Joe Biden is trying to muster up as much bravado as he is capable of in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. He announced on Thursday that he is planning to support killing the filibuster so he can pass a nationwide abortion law through the Senate. 

“We have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law, and the way to do that is to make sure the Congress votes to do that. And if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, we provide an exception for this, or an exception to the filibuster for this action,” Biden said at a news conference in Europe. 

Biden is basing his position on the idea that the 1973 decision claims that the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution protects abortion. Several Democratic states are pushing for removing all limits on abortion, but at the same time, Republican states are implementing more regulations. 

The president said that in his view the Supreme Court was wrong in its decision. He said that he feels strongly that he will do everything in his power and all that is possible legally through his executive orders to push Congress and the public towards keeping abortion legal. 

Biden’s Push to Keep Abortion Legal

Without Biden’s proposal to end the filibuster, it takes a 60-vote threshold to pass all legislation through the Senate. In the past, efforts to strengthen federal abortion law have continually failed in recent months. 

Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) led in proposing the Women’s Health Protection Act. It failed by a 46 to 48 margin in February and by a 49 to 51 margin in May. 

If the bill had passed, it would have invoked Congress’ right to regulate interstate commerce. It also would have barred state-level relations like ultrasound requirements, waiting periods, and some gestational age restrictions.

The failure to pass this legislation caused angst within the Democratic Party. There are still progressive leaders who are resuming calls for the Senate to pass new legislation since Roe v. Wade was overturned. 

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said, “The House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act months ago. The Senate must reject the filibuster and pass it. This is the worst reversal of constitutional freedom since the Court gutted the Reconstruction amendments in the 19th and 20th centuries.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said that in his state they have strong protections to ensure that everyone can access the reproductive care that they need, including abortion care. He said that he will continue to work to pass legislation like the Women’s Health Protection Act to make sure everyone in America has that same access.

Biden and his supporters are making a strong stand, but when the red wave hits at the midterms, their momentum will be gone.