life after roe

Biden: Scrap the Filibuster (Once) to Codify Abortion

Photo: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

President Biden, who has faced criticism from his own party for not being forceful enough in his response to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, said today that he supported a filibuster carve-out to codify abortion rights into law.

The remarks came as Biden held a brief press conference in Madrid at the end of the 2022 NATO summit.

Biden called the Supreme Court’s ruling “outrageous” and “destabilizing.” He said, “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,” Mr. Biden said. “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 had endorsed a similar approach for the Democrats’ voting-rights bill, which went down in defeat earlier this year.

Practically, his remarks won’t mean much. Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have made it clear, seemingly 500 times, that they do not support ending the filibuster. When Democrats recently held a vote to enshrine abortion rights into federal law, Manchin voted against it on the grounds that it was too expansive. Even if Democrats cling to the Senate or expand their (razor-thin) majority in November, they are very likely to lose the House, which would block them from passing abortion legislation.

Still, Biden’s stance is a sign that Democratic leadership is, belatedly, responding more aggressively to the gravity of the situation.

Biden: Scrap the Filibuster (Once) to Codify Abortion