Biden says Senate should make Filibuster Exceptions and codify Roe V. Wade and Right to Privacy


President Joe Biden has called on the Senate to make an exception to its filibuster rule in order to codify Roe v. Wade and protect abortion rights at a federal level.

“The most important thing to be clear about is I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law,” Biden said during a press conference at the NATO summit in Madrid  “And if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, it should be we provide an exception for this, requiring an exception to the filibuster for this action to deal with the Supreme Court decision.”

The Senate tradition of the filibuster allows unlimited debate. To move a bill to the vote, at least 60 Senators must agree. The opposition party can also use a filibuster to derail or stop a vote.

Biden’s push for the filibuster exception comes after the momentous Supreme Court decision last Friday that overturned the 1973 ruling that solidified the constitutional right to abortion, which Biden called “destabilizing”During a press conference on Thursday. 

Many fear that other landmark cases that hinge on the right to privacy, including 1965’s Griswold v. Connecticut that paved the way to legalized contraception and 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges that legalized same-sex marriage, are now in jeopardy. 

Biden and the Democrats have been under intense pressure since then to find a way to guarantee abortion rights and privacy.

Meanwhile, providers from healthcare clinics in the 13 states that had trigger laws in effect – meaning they would go into effect the moment the court struck down Roe v. Wade – are speaking out about delays or cancellations of scheduled appointments, regardless of a patient’s health circumstances. 

Biden had previously spoken out against the filibuster ruling earlier in the year when Democrats tried to standardize voting access across multiple states by introducing voting right bills. Those efforts had then been blocked by Republicans using the filibuster rule, which is made possible as today’s senate is almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.