Biden blasts Trump’s support of a nationwide abortion ban

Biden blasts Trump’s support of a nationwide abortion ban

President Joe Biden walks on stage to speak during an event on the campus of George Mason University in Manassas, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, to campaign for abortion rights, a top issue for Democrats in the upcoming presidential election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

By Isabel Soisson

February 20, 2024

President Joe Biden on Friday issued a stark reminder about what’s at stake in the November election following a news report revealing that Donald Trump has privately embraced the idea of a nationwide abortion ban. 

“The choice is very simple. Kamala and I will restore Roe v. Wade and make it once again the law of the land. Donald Trump will ban abortion nationwide,” Biden said. 

Biden’s statement came in response to a new story in the New York Times, which reported that Trump has told advisers and allies he supports a nationwide abortion ban that would prohibit the procedure after 16 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions in cases of rape and incest and to save the life of the mother. 

A nationwide ban is only possible because Trump himself appointed three of the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe—a fact he has repeatedly boasted about.

“For 54 years they were trying to get Roe v. Wade terminated, and I did it. And I’m proud to have done it,” Trump said in January. “We did something that was a miracle.”

In his statement, Biden took Trump to task for his role in ending Roe, criticizing him for “taking away women’s freedom,” putting women’s lives in danger, and unleashing “cruelty and chaos all across America.”

“Today, Roe v. Wade is no longer the law of the land. And that’s because of one person: Donald Trump,” Biden said. “Now, millions of women cannot access critical health care, with too many being turned away from emergency rooms. States have imposed abortion bans so restrictive that they have no exceptions for rape or incest. And doctors are being threatened with felony charges and time in prison simply for caring for their patients.” 

Because of Trump’s role in overturning Roe, abortion is now completely banned in 14 states, with near-total bans and severe restrictions in several others. 

“We’ve long known where Donald Trump stands on abortion and it’s at odds with the majority of Americans,” Jenny Lawson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes said in a statement. “He is chiefly responsible for the ongoing public health crisis that has allowed 21 states to ban all or some abortions.”

In Arizona, abortion is banned after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and the state’s Supreme Court is currently deciding whether or not to reinstate a total ban that was passed in 1864. Reproductive rights advocates are working to place an abortion rights measure on voters’ ballots this year, which would give Arizonans the chance to enshrine reproductive rights into the state constitution.

In stark contrast to Trump’s proposed plans, a second Biden administration could lead to the restoration of Roe.

At a joint campaign event last month, Biden vowed to restore the protections of Roe should he be elected to a second term, but noted that he needs a Democratic House of Representatives and a greater Democratic majority in the Senate in order to achieve this.

The impact of Trump’s Supreme Court appointees could be felt once again before the November election, however. 

The court is set to hear a case in March that could threaten the availability of the abortion medication mifepristone, which along with another drug, misoprostol, is approved through 10 weeks of pregnancy and is used in more than half of abortions nationwide. 

Anti-abortion groups are seeking to revoke the FDA’s 2000 approval of mifepristone, or at minimum, severely restrict access to it.

If the court opts to restrict or ban access to the medication, it would dramatically restrict access to abortion, even in states where it remains legal. Trump could then finish the job of banning abortion across the country in a second term, reproductive rights advocates warn.  

Reproductive Freedom for All said on Twitter that “if Trump wins a second term, abortion could be banned in all 50 states.” 

Biden issued a similar warning in his statement and reiterated the contrast between his position and Trump’s.

“This election is about restoring our rights. Not restricting them. Donald Trump is running to rip away your rights. Kamala and I are running to protect them.”

Author

  • Isabel Soisson

    Isabel Soisson is a multimedia journalist who has worked at WPMT FOX43 TV in Harrisburg, along with serving various roles at CNBC, NBC News, Philadelphia Magazine, and Philadelphia Style Magazine.

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