Jan. 22 (UPI) — President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris released a joint statement Saturday declaring that Roe v. Wade is “under assault” on the 49th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision on abortion rights.
Biden and Harris said in the statement that the right to an abortion “should be codified into law” beyond its current protections provided by the precedents established by the landmark 1973 decision, and that the administration would continue to work with Congress on the Women’s Health Protection Act.
“The constitutional right established in Roe v. Wade nearly 50 years ago today is under assault as never before. It is a right we believe, and we pledge to defend it with every tool we possess,” the statement reads.
It comes amid efforts from conservative states including Texas and Mississippi to penalize and restrict access to abortion providers, challenging the historic ruling.
“These state restrictions constrain the freedom of all women,” the statement reads. “And they are particularly devastating for those who have fewer options and fewer resources, such as those in underserved communities, including communities of color and many in rural areas.”
Biden and Harris paid tribute to Sarah Weddington, a Texas lawyer who argued the Roe vs. Wade case before the U.S. Supreme Court who died last month at the age of 76.
“We must ensure that our daughters and granddaughters have the same fundamental rights that their mothers and grandmothers fought for and won on this day, 49 years ago-including leaders like the late Sarah Weddington,” the statement reads.
Planned Parenthood, an organization that advocates for and provides reproductive health care services, also paid tribute to the anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in a post on Saturday to Twitter.
“On this day in 1973, Roe v. Wade was decided by SCOTUS and gave us the constitutional right to abortion,” the organization wrote. “Yet, nearly 50 years later, we could lose that right by this summer — and many don’t have access to abortion now. The threat is real, and we can’t back down now.
“On this day in 1973, Roe v. Wade was decided by SCOTUS and gave us the constitutional right to abortion. Yet, nearly 50 years later, we could lose that right by this summer — and many don’t have access to abortion now. The threat is real, and we can’t back down now.