Biden vows to try again to get Congress to codify abortion protections if Democrats keep majorities

Democrats control both chambers of Congress but were unable to codify Roe into law earlier this year.

Updated: October 18, 2022 - 2:12pm

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President Biden said Tuesday that if Democrats maintain control of Congress after the midterm elections and add senators to the upper chamber, his first bill in the next legislative session on Capitol Hill will be a request to put abortion rights into federal law.

Biden made the pledge at a Democratic National Committee event in Washington, D.C., about four months after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, which had for roughly four decades provided federal protection for abortions. 

Biden pledged during his 2020 presidential campaign to have Congress codify abortion law. However, he needs 60 vote to get the bill through the Senate, with just 50 Democrat members.

At the event, the president used his promise as a get-out-the-vote strategy and incentive to elected more Democrats to the Senate.

"If we do that, here's the promise I make to you and the American people: The first bill I will send to the Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade. And when Congress passes it, I’ll sign it in January, 50 years after Roe was first decided the law of the land," he said.

As Biden spoke, women held signs in the background reading: "Restore Roe" and "Defend Choice."

"They ain't seen nothing yet," Biden said about Republicans after Roe was overruled.