This story has been updated with new developments. President Biden has laid out a big goal on abortion rights: He wants the first bill he sends to Congress after the midterms to be one that codifies Roe v. Wade protections into law, reports Axios. However, that can only happen if the Democrats retain control of the House and gain control of the Senate. And as the AP points out, "that's a big if." As things currently stand, Republicans are projected to win the House, per FiveThirtyEight, with the Senate tougher to predict. Biden made the pledge at a Democratic National Committee event on Tuesday. "The court got Roe right nearly 50 years ago and I believe the Congress should codify Roe, once and for all," Biden said, per CNN.
Biden contrasted Republican efforts to restrict access to abortion nationwide with Democrats' effort to protect it in calling on voters to back Democrats on Nov. 8, per the New York Times. "If we do that, here’s the promise I make to you and the American people: The first bill I will send to the Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade. And when Congress passes it, I'll sign it in January, 50 years after Roe was first decided the law of the land," he added.
Biden's move will "raise the stakes for the midterms," which are now less than a month away, per the Washington Post. Democrats' prospects in the midterms rose over the summer after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade—with Democrats apparently energized by the issue—but recent polls suggest that the party's summer gains have since faded. (Read more President Biden stories.)