The Daily Telegraph reports: Democratic candidate Joe Biden vowed to make Roe v Wade the “law of the land” if the landmark abortion law is overturned by a conservative majority in the US Supreme Court.
It was the presidential candidate’s first comment on the issue since Donald Trump nominated conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the vacant Supreme Court seat.
Mr Biden refused to answer a question on the issue during last week’s presidential debate against Mr Trump, but during an event on Monday night he told voters: “The expectation is that she [Judge Barrett] may very well move to overrule Roe,” referring to the 1973 ruling making abortion legal nationwide.
“The only responsible response to that would be to pass legislation making Roe the law of the land. That’s what I would do,” he said.
It is unclear how Mr Biden would be able to pass a law protecting abortion rights if he is elected president.
Some Democrats have suggested expanding the number of justices that sit on the Supreme Court – something Mr Biden has previously opposed.
In order to pass a new piece of legislation, the Democrats would need to regain control of the Senate, as both chambers of Congress must pass a bill by majority vote before being signed into law by the president.
Mr Trump was quick to seize on the comments yesterday, tweeting: “Wow. Joe Biden just took a more liberal position on Roe v Wade than Elizabeth Warren at her highest,” a reference to the progressive senator who contested the Democratic nomination.
Mr Biden, a Catholic, significantly shifted his position on abortion when he entered the race for the White House, announcing last year that he no longer supported a measure banning federal funding for most abortions. Since then he has spoken of his support for Roe v Wade in a bid to assuage concerns among his party’s liberal wing.