Biden calls for changing filibuster rules to codify right to abortion

At a press conference in Madrid after the NATO summit, President Biden said he supported changing filibuster rules in the Senate to codify into law the right to an abortion and the right to privacy.

Video Transcript

What further specific executive actions are you considering in response to the Roe ruling, and would you declare a public health emergency as several Democrats are calling on you to do?

I’ll be happy to go in detail with you on that. I’m having a meeting with a group of governors when I get home on Friday, and I’ll have announcements to make then. But the first and foremost thing we should do is make it clear how outrageous this decision was and how much it impacts not just on women’s right to choose, which is a critical, critical piece, but on privacy generally, on privacy generally.

And so, I’m going to be talking to the governors as to what actions they think I should be taking as well. But the most important thing to be clear about is we have to change. I believe we have to codify Roe v Wade in the law. And the way to do that is to make sure that Congress votes to do that. And if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, we provide an exception for this, require an exception to the filibuster for this action to deal with the Supreme Court decision. Hang on. I got one more here. Kelly O’Donnell, NBC.

Thank you, Mr. President. Well, you just made some news saying you would support changing the filibuster rules to codify abortion rights broadly across the country.

Right to privacy, not just abortion rights. But yes, abortion rights.

Can you describe for us, sir, many Americans are grappling with this. What is your sense today about the integrity and the impartiality of the Supreme Court? Should Americans have confidence in the court as an institution? And your views on abortion have evolved in your public life. Are you the best messenger to carry this forward when Democrats, many of them, many progressives, want you to do?

Yeah, I am. I’m the President of the United States of America. That makes me the best messenger. And I really think that it’s a serious, serious problem that the court has thrust upon the United States, not just in terms of the right to choose, but in terms of the right to who you can marry, a whole range of issues related to privacy.

And I have written way back a number of large articles about the Ninth Amendment and the 14th Amendment and why that privacy is considered as part of a constitutional guarantee. And they’ve just wiped it all out. And so, I’m the only President they got, and I feel extremely strongly that I’m going to do everything in my power, which I legally can do in terms of Executive Orders, as well as push the Congress and the public. The bottom line here is if you care, if the polling data is correct and you think this decision by the court was an outrage or a significant mistake, vote, show up and vote. Vote in the off year and vote, vote, vote. That’s how we’ll change it.

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