(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden said he would support changing the Senate’s filibuster rules to pass legislation ensuring privacy rights and access to abortion, calling the Supreme Court “destabilizing” for controversial decisions including overturning Roe v. Wade.
“If the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, it should be we provide an exception for this,” Biden said Thursday at a news conference to conclude a NATO summit in Madrid. “Right to privacy, not just abortion rights, but yes, abortion rights.”
Biden is under intensifying pressure from liberal Democrats to respond more aggressively to the Supreme Court’s decision last week overturning Roe and ending nationwide abortion rights. The Senate’s filibuster rules enable Republicans, who hold half the seats in the chamber, to block most legislation they oppose.
Read More: Why Democrats Probably Won’t Overturn Filibuster For Abortion Protection
Asked about how foreign leaders view the US political situation, Biden responded: “The one thing that has been destabilizing is the outrageous behavior of the Supreme Court of the United States in overruling not only Roe v. Wade, but essentially challenging the right to privacy.”
“We’ve been a leader in the world in terms of personal rights and privacy rights and it is a mistake, in my view, for the Supreme Court to do what it did,” he added.
Progressive stalwarts such as Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez want Biden to take dramatic action to ensure access to abortion across the country, even if it means court challenges and legislative battles that the White House would almost surely lose.
That means providing abortions to the public on federal property in states that ban the procedure -- a proposal the White House has dismissed as untenable. Progressives also want Biden to overhaul the Supreme Court, either by adding justices or imposing term limits on them or both, and to curtail the Senate filibuster, which enables Republicans to block laws explicitly legalizing abortion nationwide.
Read more: Progressives Demand Biden Rev Up Base With All-Out Abortion Push
Biden and White House officials have repeatedly stressed there’s little they can do unless more lawmakers who support abortion rights are elected to Congress.
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