President Joe Biden tried to make abortion the top issue in November’s midterm elections in a fiery campaign speech on Tuesday, where he warned Republicans would be stripping rights across the country.
Biden promised that if more Democrats are elected to Congress on Nov. 8, he would push for legislation that would enshrine abortion rights into law.
“Congress Republicans are doubling down on their extreme positions,” the president said.
He warned that they would enact a national ban on abortion. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has already passed such legislation, which will not be passed in the current Democratic-controlled Congress.
“If Republicans have their way with a national ban, it doesn’t matter where you live in America. So let me be very clear. Such a bill would be passed in the coming years. I’ll veto it,” Biden said, lowering his voice to a whisper to emphasize his words.
President Joe Biden tried to make abortion the top issue in a fiery campaign speech at Howard University during the November midterms
In the midterm elections, Republicans prefer to take control of the House. The Senate is seen as more up for grabs.
In his speech at Howard University, a historically black university in central Washington DC, Biden painted a bleak picture of women’s rights under a GOP-controlled congress, warning that women should have access to birth control and medication for other illnesses in addition to abortion rights. which can cause a risk of miscarriage.
And he reiterated his call to Congress to vote on Roe vs. Wade, which was overturned by the Supreme Court in June.
“The only surefire way to stop these extremist laws that endanger women’s health and rights is to pass a bill through Congress. And I’ve said it before – the court was right about Roe almost 50 years ago and I believe Congress should codify Roe once and for all. At the moment we are a handful of votes short,” he said.
Democrats currently control both houses of Congress, but lack the 60 votes in the Senate needed to advance legislation.
Biden promised that if more Democrats are elected, he would push for legislation guaranteeing the right to abortion.
“The first bill that I will send to Congress is the codification of Roe v. Wade. And if Congress approves, I’ll sign it in January — 50 years after Roe was first proclaimed the law of the land. Together we restore the right to choose for every woman in every state in America.”
And he ended his comments by calling on people to vote.
‘You care about the right to choose, then you have to vote. That’s why these midterm elections are so important,” he said.
“So vote, you have to vote. We can do this if we vote, folks.’
President Joe Biden Talks to Democrats After His Speech
People hold signs as they wait for Joe Biden to speak
His speech came 22 days before the elections that will decide which party controls Congress.
In the wake of the June Supreme Court decision that Roe vs. Wade, Biden and his team have repeatedly pushed the abortion issue as a way to try and rally their voting bloc.
The status of abortion access has changed since the Supreme Court dismissed Roe in June in Dobbs v. Jackson. Currently, 12 states have bans in effect in all states of pregnancy.
Other states ban abortions after six weeks, which is before many women know they are pregnant.
But polls show that codifying Roe is a popular point of view. In a July AP-NORC poll, 60% of adults said they think Congress should pass a law guaranteeing access to legal abortion nationwide.
However, polls also show that voters place the economy and inflation higher on their list of concerns than the abortion issue.
In a New York Times/Siena College poll released Monday, the economy beat abortion by 21 points. Voters ranked the economy first in their minds at 26%, inflation followed at 18%, then the state of democracy came in at 8%, while abortion and immigration each got 5%.
The president has urged women to use their political power to vote against the GOP in November’s election, arguing that Republicans will roll back reproductive rights.
And Jill Biden, who is popular among female voters, is now talking about abortion in her campaign stops.
Over the past week, at several events, she described helping a friend recover from an abortion performed before Roe. vs. Wade and criticized “extremist Republicans” for wanting to “bring women back to those days.”
The first lady detailed how she helped a friend recover from the procedure in the 1960s, before an abortion became legal, and she used the story to target Republicans pushing anti-abortion laws.
Biden said her boyfriend, who became pregnant as a teenager in the late 1960s, could not have an abortion unless she underwent a psychiatric evaluation and a doctor deemed her mentally unfit.
The first lady, who was 17 at the time, lived in Pennsylvania where abortion was illegal.
“To terminate the pregnancy, she told me her only recourse was to undergo a psychiatric evaluation that would declare her mentally unfit before the doctor performed the procedure,” she said.
She did not identify the friend.
She described going to see her friend in the hospital and said she “cryed the whole ride home.”
She also criticized Republicans for pushing state laws that would restrict access to abortion.
“Extremist Republicans are passing state laws that prevent women from getting the health care they need,” she said.
During a campaign trip in Oregon last weekend, while eating an ice cream cone, President Joe Biden defended his stewardship of the US economy by saying, “I’m not worried about dollar strength. I worry about the rest of the world. Our economy is strong as hell’
Meanwhile, President Biden is consistently getting low marks for his handling of the economy, leading many Democrats to fear voters will vent their frustration at the high cost of food, energy and housing at the polls.
The New York Times/Siena College poll indicated that this could happen: 49% said they would vote for the Republican congressional candidate compared to the 45% who said they would vote for the Democrat.
In September, these women favored the Democratic candidate by 14 points. In the new poll, independent women supported the Republican by 18 points.
The turnaround is remarkable given Democrats’ emphasis on courting female voters, particularly by focusing on the abortion issue — an argument the president will make again in his remarks on Tuesday.
Biden has downplayed concerns about the economy.
While on a campaign trip in Oregon over the weekend, while eating an ice cream, Biden defended his stewardship of the US economy by saying, “I’m not worried about dollar strength. I worry about the rest of the world. Our economy is so strong.’
Inflation in the United States is falling, but remains high at 8.20%.
Biden insisted it is a global problem.
“Inflation is global. It is worse off than in the United States. So the problem is the lack of economic growth and good policies in other countries that are not so much ours,” he said.
“It’s global inflation. It’s consistent,” Biden also noted.
Republicans are seen as having momentum to take back control of the House of Representatives on Nov. 8.
Control of the Senate is more competitive as both sides fight hard to send the 50-50 Senate their way.