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Joe Biden pledges to make Roe v. Wade a landmark ruling that legalizes abortion, 'law of the land'

Biden's promise comes as somewhat of a comfort to Americans who have been worrying about the lasting implications of Judge Amy Coney Barrett becoming a Supreme Court justice.

Joe Biden pledges to make Roe v. Wade a landmark ruling that legalizes abortion, 'law of the land'
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/ Democratic US presidential nominee Joe Biden during a campaign stop outside Johnstown Train Station on September 30 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Alex Wong)

As Republicans conveniently ignore the precedent they set in 2016 and rush towards confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement, there have been growing concerns over the implications of this appointment. With Barrett's historically conservative views on everything from guns and sexual assault on campus to health care and abortion rights, reproductive rights supporters worry that the landmark Roe v. Wade decision — which legalized abortion nationwide — will be threatened like never before. The right-leaning composition of the Supreme Court will set back women's rights by decades if it overturns the historical decision; which seems like a very real and scary possibility at the moment.




This is the concern Cassidy Brown brought before Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during a town hall on Monday as she spoke about her life plans. "I knew whenever I was graduating high school and entering college that I wanted to obtain my degree and start a career before starting a family. Having access to birth control and safe reproductive healthcare was imperative in making that true for me," she told the former vice president. "So, considering the new Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, what are your particular plans to protect women's reproductive rights in the US?"




Responding to Brown's question, one that has also been plaguing countless others like her in recent weeks, Biden pledged his support for legal abortion and promised to make Roe v. Wade "the law of the land" if he's elected president. "Number one, we don't know exactly what she will do, although the expectation is that she very well may overrule Roe, and the only responsible response to that would be to pass legislation to make Roe the law of the land," he said. "That's what I would do."




Biden's promise comes as somewhat of a comfort to Americans who have been worrying about the lasting implications of Barrett becoming a Supreme Court justice, especially since she would be the youngest justice on the court and thereby have the chance to reshape the law and society for generations to come. As much as social conservatives favor the 48-year-old, a majority of the American public has long been in favor of abortion rights in most circumstances. A 2019 Gallup poll found that 53 percent of US adults believe abortion should be legal at least "under certain circumstances" while only 21 percent want it to be completely illegal.




However, these numbers aren't stopping President Trump from bending his opponent's promise to appeal to the far right as he lost no time in attacking Biden for taking "a more Liberal position on Roe v. Wade than Elizabeth Warren at her highest." Urging his followers to get out and vote in a tweet on Tuesday, he wrote: "He also wants to PACK our great United States Supreme Court. This is what the Dems will do. Remember as they try changing positions before elections end." Despite the president's attempts to twist Biden's words, pro-choicers are mostly happy about the former vice president's promise to protect abortion rights.








Meanwhile, according to CBS News, some abortion-rights supporters believe that a promise to protect Roe isn't enough to ensure access to the procedure. "Roe is important, but now we really think of that as the floor, not the ceiling," said Destiny Lopez, co-director of the abortion-rights group All* Above All Action Fund. "Even with Roe in place, so many people are unable to get the abortion care they want," said Megan Donovan, senior policy manager at the reproductive health research group Guttmacher Institute. "We can start with protecting Roe, but the fight cannot end there."



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