Joe Biden has pledged that the first bill he sends to Capitol Hill next year will write abortion protections into law – as long as his party takes enough seats in Congress to pass it.
In a speech to the Democratic National Committee event, the US president repeated his message that only Congress can fully restore abortion access to what it was before the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade.
In a rallying note, he added that “we’re short a handful of votes” to reinstate abortion protections at the federal level.
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AP reported that, in a move to “energise his party’s voters just three weeks ahead of the November midterms”, Biden told Democrats that “if you care about the right to choose, then you gotta vote”.
There is some evidence that the issue will “galvanise” voters, said CNN. Some 50% of registered voters in a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey said they were more motivated to vote next month, with abortion heading the reasons, for Democratic voters.
Women are especially motivated: about three in five women aged between 18 and 49 said they are more likely to head to the polls, citing the overturning of Roe vs. Wade as motivation.
However, said The New York Times, the president’s focus on abortion “reflects the anxiety among Democrats that the issue of abortion is losing resonance with voters” after a New York Times/Siena poll found that the economy was a “far more important issue to voters”.
Meanwhile, Biden’s opponents are also upping the ante, said Politico. In response to Biden’s speech, anti-abortion groups urged Republican candidates, “many of whom have stayed quiet on the issue in recent months amid the political fall-out from the Supreme Court ruling,” to “keep going on offence”.
“It is time for Americans to hold pro-abortion politicians accountable,” said Jeanne Mancini, the president of March for Life, an anti-abortion group.
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