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Tipsheet

Senator Joe Biden Voted to Allow States to Overturn Roe v. Wade

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File

As Katie reported on Tuesday, President Biden reacted to the SCOTUS leak and apparently looming end of Roe v. Wade saying that he'd previously directed the "Gender Policy Council and White House Counsel’s Office to prepare options for an Administration response to the continued attack on abortion and reproductive rights, under a variety of possible outcomes in the cases pending before the Supreme Court." In addition, Biden said that "if the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose."

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But President Biden has not always been such an ardent supporter of a woman's — or birthing person's, according to his budget request — right to kill their unborn child.

As a relatively new U.S. Senator, Biden voted for a 1982 proposal that would have allowed individual states to overturn Roe v. Wade within their jurisdiction.

Early in his senate tenure, Biden "concluded that the Supreme Court went 'too far' on abortion rights in the Roe case," a position that would be entirely foreign to President Biden today. In fact, Biden's old position is not far off from the argument made in the leaked draft of Justice Alito's decision.

Biden's stated and voted opposition to Roe's invention of a constitutional right to abortion that overruled state prohibitions and restrictions came as pro-life conservatives pushed for the newly-inaugurated Reagan administration and a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate to take action to protect the unborn. Part of pro-life activists' effort included a constitutional amendment that would allow states to individually overturn Roe v. Wade.

Per a 2019 story in The New York Times explaining Biden's changing views on abortion:

The amendment — which the National Abortion Rights Action League called “the most devastating attack yet on abortion rights” — cleared a key hurdle in the Senate Judiciary Committee in March 1982. Support came not only from Republicans but from a 39-year-old, second-term Democrat: Joseph R. Biden Jr.

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At the time, Biden stated that his support for the amendment was because "I’m probably a victim, or a product, however you want to phrase it, of my background,” the self-proclaimed "devout Catholic" Joe Biden awkwardly explained. The now-president characterized his position, The Times reported, as "the single most difficult vote I’ve cast as a U.S. senator.”

Yet, it was a vote he cast — one that directly contrasts his position and rhetoric in 2022. As Biden and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki have repeatedly stated over the last 16 months, Biden's position now is that an unborn child's future is dependent on "a woman's right to choose" whether it lives or dies. But that's another statement that contradicts Biden's past comments.

During his early years as a senator, Biden said "that a woman shouldn’t have the 'sole right to say what should happen to her body,'" but had fully reversed — or as the flip-flopping left likes to day, "evolved" — his position by the time he was serving as Vice President in the Obama administration. In 2012, Biden denied that the government had “a right to tell other people that women, they can’t control their body."

Biden's drastically changing tune on abortion is just one anecdote that proves how far the radical left has dragged Democrats beyond the positions many — including the current president — once held. Biden ran for the White House in 2020 trying to paint himself as a moderate centrist. But, whether it's the result of Democrats' continued leftward lurch or his younger more radical staff pushing him outside of his own comfort zone, Biden's current statements and position on abortion prove he's continued his trend toward the radical wing of pro-abortion views.

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