Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has vowed to codify Roe v. Wade in federal law and declared abortion to be the right of every woman under the Constitution.
Biden made the statements in a brief Medium post giving his take on the recent US Supreme Court ruling in June Medical Services vs. Russo, in which the court struck down a Louisiana law that would have made procuring abortion more difficult by requiring abortionists to retain admitting privileges at a local hospital in the event of a botched abortion.
Women’s health care rights have been under attack as states across the country have passed extreme laws restricting women’s constitutional right to choice under any circumstance. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed that states cannot put in place laws that unduly burden a women’s right to make her own health care decisions with her doctor.
But let’s be clear: Republicans in state legislatures will stop at nothing to get rid of Roe — and we have to be just as strong in our defense of it. They are trying to get these laws appealed to the Supreme Court in the hope that Trump’s justices will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. It’s wrong. It’s pernicious. And, we have to stop it. As President, I will codify Roe v. Wade and my Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate a woman’s protected, constitutional right to choose.
Biden’s comments come after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who dissented in the Russo case, argued that a fair reading of the Constitution will not find “a shred of support” for abortion in its text.
“Today a majority of the Court perpetuates its ill-founded abortion jurisprudence by enjoining a perfectly legitimate state law and doing so without jurisdiction,” Thomas wrote. “Our abortion precedents are grievously wrong and should be overruled.”
“As is often the case with legal challenges to abortion regulations, this suit was brought by abortionists and abortion clinics,” Thomas explained. “Their sole claim before this Court is that Louisiana’s law violates the purported substantive due process right of a woman to abort her unborn child. But they concede that this right does not belong to them, and they seek to vindicate no private rights of their own. Under a proper understanding of Article III, these plaintiffs lack standing to invoke our jurisdiction.”
“Those decisions created the right to abortion out of whole cloth, without a shred of support from the Constitution’s text,” Thomas concluded. “Our abortion precedents are grievously wrong and should be overruled.”
Biden remains the most adamantly pro-abortion presidential candidate, having repeatedly expressed plans to codify Roe v. Wade, repeal the Hyde Amendment that prohibits direct public funding of most abortions, and reverse the Mexico City Policy that keeps federal funds from supporting abortion overseas.
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