While Americans react to the Supreme Court overruling Roe v. Wade, President Joe Biden has spent the last week in Europe, focusing on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Although the Biden administration has been adamant when it came to standing alongside the Ukrainian people, the President was sure to address the ruling and stated on Thursday that he would do everything within his power to pass nationwide abortion laws, even if that meant abolishing the filibuster.
Before the historic ruling, the Democrats had been working to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act through Congress after being supported by the House. According to the Daily Wire, “The Women’s Health Protection Act — sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) — failed by a 46 to 48 margin in February and by a 49 to 51 margin in May. The legislation would have invoked Congress’ right to regulate interstate commerce and barred state-level regulations such as ultrasound requirements, waiting periods, and certain gestational age restrictions.”
Still, holding a press conference in Europe, President Biden stated, “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.” He added. “I feel extremely strongly that I’m going to do everything in my power, which I legally can do in terms of executive orders, as well as push the Congress and the public.”
After both the ruling and the Women’s Health Protection Act did not pass, many Democrats voiced their disdain. Representative Jamie Raskin 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.”
Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley noted, “In Oregon, we have strong protections to make sure everyone can access the reproductive care they need, including abortion care. I will continue to work to pass legislation like the Women’s Health Protection Act to make sure everyone in the U.S. has that same access.”