Former Vice President Joe Biden has said he’ll move to protect abortion rights if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade, the historic decision that protected a woman’s right to have an abortion.
The Democratic presidential nominee told an NBC News town hall in Miami on Monday that if the historic ruling on abortion is overturned, his “only response to that is pass legislation making Roe the law of the land. That’s what I would do.”
It was not immediately clear how Biden would achieve this aim. If the Supreme Court finds there is no right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution, any law granting one would be challenged.
The nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has raised concerns that a conservative majority could reverse the 1973 ruling.
Coney Barrett is popular among anti-abortion groups and critics fear she will deliver the necessary vote to overturn the landmark ruling.
In 2006, Coney Barrett added her name to a newspaper ad calling for Roe v. Wade to be reversed. The two-page ad was taken out by the St Joseph County Right to Life group in South Bend. Indiana.
Barrett and her husband signed the ad, which said life begins at “fertilization,” while she was a law professor at the University of Notre Dame. It resurfaced following President Donald Trump‘s decision to nominate her to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat.
“It’s time to put an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v Wade and restore law that protects the lives of unborn children,” the ad said.
“As Judge Barrett said on the day she was nominated, ‘A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold,'” a White House spokesperson told The Guardian at the time.
During the NBC News town hall, Biden also said he was “not surprised” that Trump caught COVID-19 and appeared to criticize the president’s attitude to safety measures like mask-wearing.
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“Anybody who contracts the virus by essentially saying ‘masks don’t matter, social distancing doesn’t matter,’ I think, is responsible for what happens to them,” Biden said.