Joe Biden Makes A Promise About Abortion Rights If His Party Wins The Midterms

Despite the fact that abortion was federally protected from 1973 until June of this year, codifying the decision in Roe v. Wade wasn't an issue presidential candidates had to give real answers to — at least in debates — until 2019 (via The Cut). By June of that year, NPR reports five states passed laws restricting abortions past six weeks of pregnancy, despite the fact that Roe v. Wade protected the right of abortion until fetus viability — something that can't biologically happen until between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Abortion was only protected as long as another Supreme Court decision or constitutional amendment didn't override the previous ruling. With the Dobbs v. Jackson Health Organization decision, we saw the results of the work of legislators who have passed hundreds of laws over the years hoping to overturn Roe. According to Politico, many lawmakers — like including former vice president Mike Pence – are championing a federal restriction or ban on abortion. Senator Lindsey Graham further introduced a bill on the Senate floor this year for a 15-week ban, despite a lack of support from fellow Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (via Politico).

The only way abortion can be protected on a federal level is for politicians to follow through on promises made back in 2019. Joe Biden was one of many Democratic presidential candidates who said they would "codify Roe," given the chance, per The Cut. Now that he's president, Biden is aiming to deliver on his promise.

President Biden is determined to codify Roe

Anti-abortion activists finally saw the fruits of their labor in June when the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Health Organization rolled back the protections guaranteed by Roe v. Wade. With the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court by then-president Donald Trump, fulfilling his own campaign promises, conservatives had the firm majority on the bench, per NBC News

The only way abortion can be protected on the federal level again in a permanent way is if President Joe Biden is able to follow through on a campaign promise he made Tuesday, October 18. Speaking at an event hosted by the Democratic National Committee, The New York Times reports Biden "promised to write abortion protections into law." The catch? The Senate is split right down the middle, according to Politico, and the conservative-leaning politicians largely want nothing to do with a federal-level abortion law, no matter if it's protecting or prohibiting the procedure.

Beyond saying a bill reinstating and protecting abortion protections would be the first thing Biden would do in 2023, no further details were given about what the legislation would look like, The New York Times notes. The far-reaching impacts of the reversal of Roe were already a major reason voters were heading to the polls in November for the midterm elections. Now, Biden has given people even more incentive to get out and vote in the midterms.