President Biden said Thursday he would support the Senate filibuster rule change to codify a woman’s access to abortion into a federal law passed by Congress.
“I believe we need to codify Roe v. Wade into law, and the way to do that is to get Congress to vote for it,” Biden said at a news conference in Madrid, Spain, at the end of a three-day summit with leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. “And if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights. We need an exception to the filibuster to handle this action with the Supreme Court decision.”
Mr. Biden, who has long opposed dropping the filibuster to pass legislation, announced last year that he would be open to amending it so Congress could pass two bills that would overhaul the US election. .
The president also said domestic turmoil over abortion has destabilized his efforts to keep NATO countries united against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but downplayed the impact and emphasized that the military alliance is still strong.
“The only thing that is destabilizing is the excessive conduct of the United States Supreme Court and not just brushing aside Roe v. Wade, but essentially affecting the right to privacy,” Mr Biden said. “We are a world leader in personal rights and privacy rights. And it is, in my opinion, a mistake that the Supreme Court is doing what it has done.”
Still, Mr Biden downplayed the impact the Supreme Court ruling had on foreign relations last week. His comments came at a news conference after the conclusion of two separate European summits between NATO leaders and the leaders of the seven largest economies, known as the Group of Seven or G-7.
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“I haven’t seen anyone come up to me and do anything, nor have you heard them say anything other than ‘thank you for America’s leadership’. You changed the dynamics of NATO and the G-7,” he said.
Mr Biden also dismissed the impact of rising inflation and record gas prices on his efforts to meet his goals during the peaks, saying the US economy is stronger than some of its allies. But he quickly returned to the abortion issue, promising to codify Roe v. Wade to guarantee women the right to abortion.
Several leaders with strong ties to the US took the unusual step this week to discuss domestic affairs. Among the harshest critics were leaders who stood shoulder to shoulder with Mr Biden as the G-7 summit kicked off earlier this week.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the Supreme Court decision “horrifying” and “a devastating setback”. He said he can’t imagine “the fear and anger” American women feel.
“No government, politician or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. I want women in Canada to know that we will always stand up for your right to choose,” he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron called abortion “a fundamental right” that must be protected. He accused the US Supreme Court of undermining women’s freedoms.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the ruling “a big step backwards”, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the decision shows that “there is still a long way to go for gender justice”.
“Women’s rights are under threat. We must defend them resolutely,” said Mr. Scholz.