Biden vows to ‘codify’ Roe v. Wade on 48th anniversary of abortion ruling

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the Covid-19 response before signing executive orders for economic relief to Covid-hit families and businesses in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on January 22, 2021. | NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

While more than 62 million lives have been lost to abortion since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the Biden administration announced on the judgment’s 48th anniversary Friday that it will back abortion with a codified federal law in the event the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the ruling.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to codifying Roe v. Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe,” the White House said in a statement Friday, the day after National Right to Life Committee said in its annual report that the total number of abortions since 1973 had exceeded 62 million.

“In the past four years, reproductive health, including the right to choose, has been under relentless and extreme attack,” added Biden in the White House statement. “We are deeply committed to making sure everyone has access to care — including reproductive health care — regardless of income, race, zip code, health insurance status, or immigration status.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reacted to Biden’s support of abortion.

“We strongly urge the president to reject abortion and promote life-affirming aid to women and communities in need,” the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities head Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, said, according to Catholic News Agency.

“It is deeply disturbing and tragic that any president would praise and commit to codifying a Supreme Court ruling that denies unborn children their most basic human and civil right, the right to life under the euphemistic disguise of a health service,” he said.

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini also responded. “Abortion isn’t healthcare,” she tweeted. “It is heartbreaking but not surprising that on the day we commemorate the loss of 60+ million Americans to abortion the new administration is already aggressively leaning into abortion extremism.”

The Trump administration enacted many pro-life policies, including reinstituting and expanding the Mexico City Policy and implementing the Protect Life Rule, and was praised for nominating three judges to the Supreme Court. 

However, on Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Biden will be rescinding his predecessor's pro-life policies.

Fauci told board members of the World Health Organization that the administration will repeal the Mexico City Policy in the “coming days.”

“It will be our policy to support women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights in the United States, as well as globally,” Fauci said. “To that end, President Biden will be revoking the Mexico City Policy in the coming days, as part of his broader commitment to protect women’s health and advance gender equality at home and around the world,” he added. 

In response to the National Right to Life Committee's release of its annual report, “The State of Abortion in the United States,” President Carol Tobias said: “The tragic legacy of Roe is more than 62 million lives lost to abortion. Every unborn child should be welcomed in life and protected in law. No mother should ever feel like abortion is her only option and no unborn child should ever be considered ‘expendable.’” 

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