The Supreme Court’s abortion decision shakes the United States. The Democrats want to enshrine the right to abortion in law. President Biden advocates a complicated procedure in Parliament.

US President Joe Biden has called for the suspension of an age-old rule in the Senate to legislate for a nationwide abortion right in the United States.

Biden voiced his support for such a move at a press conference concluding the NATO summit in Madrid. However, the political chances for this path are currently poor.

Biden criticized the US Supreme Court’s abortion decision as “scandalous” and “destabilizing” – and he called on US citizens to vote in November’s congressional elections even if they thought the decision was a mistake. That’s the only way to change that.

There is currently no federal law in the United States that allows or prohibits abortion. So far, abortions have been permitted at least until the fetus is viable – around the 24th week. This has so far been ensured by a 1973 US Supreme Court ruling, known as Roe v. Wade (Roe vs. Wade) is known. Another judgment from 1992 strengthened the case law and adapted it somewhat. However, the Supreme Court overturned these decisions a few days ago, paving the way for stricter abortion laws – even outright bans. In about half of the US states, abortion is now likely to be severely restricted or banned altogether.

Biden wants to fight for abortion rights

Biden has already announced that he will do everything possible to ensure women have access to abortions. However, his options are limited. «We must Roe v. enshrine Wade in law. And we can only achieve that if Congress votes for it, »said Biden. “And if the filibuster gets in the way, it should be like electoral law that we make an exception for that.”

The filibuster is a more than 100-year-old regulation that states that for many bills, 60 of the 100 senators must agree to an end to the debate before there can even be a vote in the congressional chamber. However, Biden’s Democrats only have a wafer-thin majority in the Senate. They control 50 seats, so exactly half – and are therefore regularly slowed down by the filibuster. The Democrats had already tried to enshrine the right to abortion in a federal law, but had failed with this provision, as they had in other cases.

resistance in their own ranks

In view of the blockade by the Republicans, the Democrats in the Senate had already wanted to make an exception to the filibuster rule in an electoral reform. However, two dissenters from their own ranks also voted against: Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. The chances of success are therefore considered to be low.

Biden called on voters to cast their ballots in November’s election to change the balance of power in Congress. Biden’s Democrats risk losing their narrow majority in one or both chambers of Congress in the election.

When asked in Madrid whether the court decision would damage the international image of the United States, Biden said no and emphasized that the country was doing well overall. “America is better placed to lead the world than we’ve ever been,” Biden said. The economy, for example, is strong and the inflation rate is lower than elsewhere. “The only thing that is destabilizing is the scandalous behavior of the US Supreme Court.”