Biden calls abortion restrictions ‘beyond the pale’

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Republican-led states continue to ban nearly all abortions, President Joe Biden said Friday that such restrictions were “beyond the pale.”

Biden and Democrats are trying to harness outrage over the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide, in this year’s midterm elections.

“You’re going to hear women roar on this issue, and it’s going to be consequential,” he said.

Biden made the comments at a White House meeting of state and local officials to talk about ways to expand access to abortion and to mark Women’s Equality Day.

Biden reiterated his desire for Congress to codify Roe v. Wade into law, but “we’re short a handful of votes,” he said.

Democrats would need 10 Republican votes to overcome a filibuster and get a bill through the 50-50 Senate, but only two GOP senators have publicly backed abortion rights. And even though they narrowly control the Senate, Democrats don’t have enough votes to sidestep the filibuster.

“The only way it’s going to happen if the American people make it happen in November,” Biden said.

In the meantime, Biden has been looking for ways to protect abortion access. But his options are limited.

Idaho, Tennessee and Texas are the latest Republican-led states to tighten their restrictions. They’ve been implementing so-called “trigger laws” that were put on the books to severely limit abortions if Roe was overturned, which happened in June.

Lina Hidalgo, the county judge from Harris County, Texas, called her state’s law a “slap in the face.”

“I think you speak for the majority of the American people,” Biden responded.

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