In a first-of-its-kind forum, the former vice-president claimed a 100% voting record before his mic suddenly cut out
In the first presidential forum on reproductive rights in recent memory, former vice-president Joe Biden told an audience of mostly female Planned Parenthood supporters he had a 100% voting record on reproductive rights.
In fact, his record on the subject is mixed, as a question to the former vice-president suggested.
Well, first of all, Im not sure about the mixed record part. Ive had 100% voting record, Biden said, before his microphone cut out. When it came back on, he had moved on to healthcare.
Biden, a Catholic and a Delaware senator for 36 years, has gone back and forth on support for abortion access. In this election cycle, reproductive rights has emerged as a top issue as Republican statehouses across the US have attacked abortion rights.
Biden told his audience in Columbia he would codify the right to an abortion, granted in Roe v Wade, into law as defined by Casey a stance more conservative than those of many other Democratic candidates present.
Casey is the 1992 supreme court decision which allowed states to severely restrict abortion access, including imposing waiting periods and medically unnecessary administrative burdens.
Later in the forum, a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by her abusive husband but could not cover an abortion through her military health benefits, asked Biden how he would expand access to abortion.
A lot of you women, maybe a lot of men out here, maybe dont realize what incredible courage it took to stand up and say that, Biden said.
Other candidates went further.
Weve been on defense for 47 years, and its not working, said the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. An inch at a time, a piece at a time, theyve chipped away, hacked away at the ground under our feet, so access becomes narrower, becomes more limited.
She went on: This is a democracy. In a democracy, the laws should reflect the values of the people. So I say it is time to go on offense with Roe v Wade. Its not enough to say were going to rely on the courts. We need to pass a federal law to make Roe v Wade the rule of the land.
That prompted huge cheers.
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