JULY 3, 2022
- A top White House official said on Sunday he doesn’t think the overturning of Roe v. Wade will last long.
- “This is just not America,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
- Becerra called on Congress to pass legislation codifying Roe v. Wade into law..
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on Sunday said he believes the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade will not last very long.
“I’ve been around long enough to know that nothing’s ever totally safe. But remember, we still haven’t even been able to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, and so this country has a way to go,” Becerra told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” referring to the long-proposed amendment for women’s rights. “But certainly, I don’t believe this decision by this court and [Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization] is going to stand long.”
President Joe Biden on Thursday said for the first time that he’s in favor of nixing the Senate filibuster to codify abortion rights into federal law.
“If the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights … we should require an exception to the filibuster for this action,” Biden said during a NATO press conference this week.
His comments come less than a week after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, gutting federal abortion protections which were in place for nearly 50 years.
As the nation reels from the top court’s ruling, abortion advocates across the political spectrum have called for sweeping measures from President Joe Biden.
Following the Friday decision, Biden said the Court’s decision would “literally take America back 150 years” and that his administration will aggressively defend Americans’ rights to receive abortion pills through the mail or to travel across state lines to receive care.
The president called on Congress to act, despite Democrats’ previous failures to enshrine abortion rights into federal law. He also called on Americans to vote in the midterms in November.
“Let me be very clear and unambiguous: The only way we can secure a women’s right to choose, the balance that existed, is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade as federal law,” he said. “No executive action from the president can do that.”
While Biden has said his “administration will use all of its appropriate lawful powers” to help Americans retain access to abortion, lawmakers and advocates have called on the president to implement the following measures since Roe was overturned.
He added: “This is just not America. We’re not about taking rights. Most people around the world haven’t looked at the U.S. as the beacon of light because we do things like Dobbs. Just the opposite. So I’m confident that we’re going to get past this.”
Last month, the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision that made abortion legal for the past almost 50 years. Several states have already moved to ban abortion.
Democrats have expressed concern over the decision and raised $80 million in the week following the decision. Becerra told NBC that Democrats who are frustrated should give the administration ideas on how to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law. He also called on Congress to pass legislation protecting women’s reproductive rights.
“We’re going to explore everything we can,” he said on Sunday. “And I also would ask them to please pass a law. They have it in their power, if they can find the votes to actually codify the Roe decision, which is what we need more than anything else. Executive action.”