“No kidding”

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In his powerful State of the Union, President Joe Biden promised that if “Americans send me a Congress that supports the right to choose,” then he will “restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land again!” Biden also connected this plan to the U.S. Supreme Court’s own words in Dobbs v. Jackson, overturning Roe v. Wade, noting that “women are not without electoral or political power.”

“No kidding!” Biden exclaimed, optimistic that ensuring reproductive freedom and women’s dignity by codifying Roe is something that can happen soon, after the 119th Congress convenes on January 3, 2025. Biden reminded Americans that this was a winning issue for Democrats in 2022 and 2023, and that it will again succeed when we return to the polls on November 5, 2024.

The alternative to codifying Roe could be even worse than simply maintaining the status quo. As Biden pointed out, both Donald Trump and many Republicans in Congress are eager to lurch in the opposite direction and pass a nationwide abortion ban. “My God, what freedoms will you take away next?” he exclaimed rhetorically.

If the next Congress passes a codification of Roe and a reelected Biden signs it into law, the United States won’t be alone. France just guaranteed the right to abortion in its constitution on Friday, March 8, a fitting tribute on International Women’s Day, becoming the first nation to protect reproductive freedom in this way. The amendment passed by an overwhelming 780-72 and included the support of many far-right legislators, according to a report from the Associated Press (AP).

Not only is abortion widely protected across most of Europe, but many nations there have been expanding that protection, partly in response to the Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe in the United States. According to another AP report, women can access abortion in over 40 European nations from Portugal to Russia, while reproductive freedom is restricted only in Poland and a few very small countries.

In contrast with Trump’s envisioned dictatorship, the United States is a democracy. Although the presidency is a powerful position, Biden needs a legislative branch to put laws on his desk that he can sign to advance equality and dignity. “Clearly, those bragging about overturning Roe v. Wade have no clue about the power of women in America,” Biden warned. This November, the empowered American voter can go to the polls and finally put this issue to bed.

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