Biden calls for ‘exception’ in Senate rules to pass abortion bill

US President Joe Biden attends the EU leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium on March 24, 2022.

PHOTO: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Ima

US President Joe Biden on Thursday called for an “exception” to the Senate filibuster rule to allow Democrats to pass an abortion rights bill, overturning the recent Supreme Court decision.

The “filibuster exception” Biden asked for would allow Democrats to pass a law that enshrines abortion access rights with their current thin majority and without Republican backing.

His call for the unusual legislative maneuver comes after the Supreme Court overturned decades of federal protections for abortion access.

Under Senate rules, most legislation requires 60 votes out of 100 senators to pass, but Democrats currently only have 50 votes, with Vice President Kamala Harris being the deciding factor.

Bypassing the filibuster would allow a simple majority to pass a new law, but many lawmakers and Biden himself have generally been wary of breaking precedents, as the filibuster is passed by each party with a slim majority. seen as a useful check on power.

The Supreme Court ruling that quashed abortion rights for nearly 50 years under the Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973 ended federal protections for abortions and gave individual state legislators the power to enact their own laws.

About half of the 50 US states already enact laws restricting access to abortion.

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