Biden marks anniversary of Dobbs decision by calling on Congress to ‘restore the protections of Roe v. Wade’
(CNN) — President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris joined a trio of key reproductive rights activist groups to mark the one-year anniversary of the Dobbs Supreme Court decision Friday, highlighting what’s expected to be a major Biden campaign plank for the 2024 presidential election.
“MAGA Republicans made clear that they don’t intend to stop with the Dobbs decision. No, they won’t, until they get a national ban on abortion,” Biden said, promising to issue a veto if a national ban is ever passed by Congress.
The Biden administration and campaign have been making an all-hands-on-deck push for reproductive rights messaging this week ahead of Saturday’s anniversary of the ruling that overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade, harnessing the moment on an issue that animated voters in 2022 and they believe will do so again in 2024.
“Since that dark June day last year, each of you has worked tirelessly to fight back. In the Dobbs decision, the court, particularly – practically, dared the women of America to be heard,” Biden said.
Biden and Harris held the event with three reproductive rights groups – EMILYs List, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund – that announced they have endorsed the Biden-Harris campaign in the reelection push.
“Your support was critical last time around. And we were so grateful for it,” Biden said, noting the organizing efforts of all three groups and how important that will be for his reelection push.
Along with other recent endorsements from unions and climate activists, the backing of the reproductive rights groups Friday illustrates the central core of Biden’s reelection push.
“Over the last week or so we’ve seen extraordinary support from three of the most important voices in the country coming together to get behind this campaign – organized labor, climate leaders, and all of you,” Biden said at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.
Friday’s event comes after Harris held a roundtable conversation on reproductive rights on MSNBC Tuesday and is also set to give a major speech on the Saturday anniversary in Charlotte, North Carolina.
And first lady Dr. Jill Biden hosted an emotional conversation Tuesday with four women who shared their stories of how the Dobbs decision and subsequent state bans on abortion impacted their own medical care.
“The Dobbs decision was devastating, and Joe is doing everything he can do to fight back,” the first lady said. “But the only way that we can ensure that every woman has the fundamental freedoms she deserves is for Congress to make the protections of Roe v. Wade the law of the land once again.”
While there are limited steps Biden can take at the executive level, he has signed multiple executive orders aimed at shoring up access to abortion rights and called on Congress to codify Roe v. Wade.
On Friday, the president will sign an executive order strengthening access to contraception, the Biden administration told CNN. The executive order directs the secretary of Treasury, secretary of Labor, and secretary of Health and Human Services to consider guidance guaranteeing private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act covers all FDA-approved methods of contraception, in contrast to current guidance, which only mandates coverage for one contraceptive product per FDA category.
But there is no action he can take to restore the nationwide right to an abortion.
Still, the Biden campaign believes that reproductive rights will be a key motivator for voters, with imagery of abortion rights protesters figuring prominently in the first seconds of Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign launch video.
In the 2022 midterm elections, about 27% of voters cited abortion as the issue most important to them, according to the preliminary results of the national and state exit polls conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research.
The event also comes as the campaign begins to build coalitions and momentum around key issues important to Democratic voters. Last week, Biden attended an event rolling out an endorsement from four major environmental groups. He also held an event with gun safety activists in Connecticut. And over the weekend, he touted support from leading unions with remarks focused on the economy.
Nearly one year ago, in the moments after the Supreme Court’s historic ruling, Biden said he was stunned by the “extreme” decision.
“With Roe gone, let’s be very clear: The health and life of women in this nation are now at risk,” he warned in remarks at the White House.