Joe Biden said he would make Roe v. Wade the “law of the land” if Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett were to overturn the landmark legislation, which protects abortion rights. The Democratic presidential candidate made his stance known during an NBC-hosted town hall in Miami on Monday night (Oct. 5).
When a young woman asked Biden what he would do to protect women’s access to abortion and reproductive healthcare in the case of Barrett’s confirmation, Biden replied, “We don’t know exactly what she will do, although the expectation is that she may very well move to overrule Roe.”
“... The only responsible response to that,” he continued, “would be to pass legislation and make Roe the law of the land. That’s what I would do.”
Biden later doubled down on his comments on Twitter, writing, “Roe v. Wade must remain the law of the land.”
Barrett, whom Trump appointed to the Supreme Court last month, has a history of challenging Roe v. Wade. In 2006, she signed onto an advertisement calling for the landmark ruling to be overturned. Making the legislation “law of the land” — or codifying — several political commentators noted, would mean to make women’s right to abortion federal law.
Some activists were disappointed that Biden didn’t further elaborate on his intentions or discuss a concrete plan to codify the ruling, as any proposal would likely be challenged by the Republican-controlled Senate. If voted in, Barrett will replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was an avid defender of women’s rights. With the Republican majority, Barrett is expected to be confirmed into the Senate before election day on Nov. 3.
“Should I be confirmed, I will be mindful of who came before me,” she said of Ginsburg during her nomination ceremony. “She not only broke glass ceilings, she smashed them, and for that she has won the admiration of women across the country.”
Watch Biden talk about Roe v. Wade below.